Dec 11 -
Exim bank to be set up by June
Pakistan's Export Import Bank is expected to be
established by the end of the current fiscal year in June, says Export
Promotion Bureau chairman Tariq Ikram.
Talking to reporters at the regional EPB office on
Monday, he said the government had already approved in principle the
concept of the proposed Exim Bank and the "matter is being
considered by the finance ministry for further action".
Responding to a question, he said it would be too
early to say something about the paid-up capital of the proposed bank,
or about other details.
The chairman said exports from Pakistan need to
grow 17-18 per cent in the next seven months over the last year, if
the ambitious export target of $10 billion for the present fiscal year
is to be achieved. "I'm not sure how much of the target will we
be able to achieve. But the export growth of 13 per cent — $352
million — during the first five months of the year is pretty
encouraging," he said.
He said the export target for the year could be
attained if we succeed in selling one million tons of surplus wheat
and rice by taking advantage of the opportunity presented by a poor
rice crop in Vietnam because of floods. He said exports could not be
raised overnight without bringing about structural changes and
The growth in exports during the first five months
is said to be a $170 million increase in textiles and garments sector.
Non- traditional items have registered 39 per cent increase in exports
followed by 17 per cent in developmental items like marble, gems and
jewellery and 15 per cent in leather, rice and other sectors. Ikram,
who met the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan officials later in
the day, said the government was making efforts to increase the rice
exports. He said he had received an inquiry from Saudi Arabia for
200,000-500,000 tons of basmati, irri-6 and irri price. He said:
"We want to regain our share of what is said to be close to 50
per cent once in the Saudi rice market." He said the rice exports
had already registered 51 per cent increase during the current fiscal
Pakistan plans to export petrol in 2001
Pakistan plans to export 100,000 tonnes of petrol a
year from 2001, after production from a new refinery in the centre of
the country is in full swing, industry officials said on Thursday.
He said officials from neighbouring Iran visited
Pakistan recently and showed an interest in purchasing petrol that
would be surplus to Pakistani needs after Pak-Arab Refinery (PARCO)
would be at full capacity by January.
Industry sources said petrol exports are likely to
come from refinery operations in Karachi, while the mid-country
refinery would feed petrol demand in the populous Punjab and north of
Industry sources said the commissioning of the new
PARCO refinery would create a 193,000 ton petrol surplus over the next
year. Demand was forecast at 1.3 million tonnes and production at
1.493 million tonnes.
The 4.5 million-tonne per year PARCO, which began
production in late August, is set to boost the country's total
refining capacity by 60 per cent to 11 million tonnes, against
domestic demand for all petroleum products of 18.5 million tonnes a
EU commits for drought victims
The European Union has committed 7.8 million euro
(about Rs380 million) new humanitarian aid to the victims of drought
in Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan.
The new programme follows an earlier grant of 5.5
million euro, said a statement issued on Thursday by the EU's office
for humanitarian aid.
Through the new programme the victims of the worst
drought would be alleviated in 30 years in the region, it said.
NWFP gets Rs780m
Islamabad has released Rs780 million to the NWFP as
its share from the Federal Divisible Pool (FDP) for November,
So far, during the current financial year, the
province has been released a total of around Rs6.2 billion from the
Of this amount, the province received in cash
Rs3.27 billion in five tranches whereas the remaining Rs2.935 billion
has been deducted at source from it by making book adjustments against
the multi-billion development loan that Peshawar availed from the
federal government to support its development budget in the past.
The government has appointed Merrill Lynch Bank as
the Financial Adviser for the privatization of Oil and Gas Development
Company Ltd (OGDCL).
Official sources said on Thursday that with the
appointment of M/s Merrill Lynch, the process of disinvesting of OGDCL
will start from January 2001, in phases.
A decision has also been taken to offload 10 per
cent shares of Habib Bank Ltd through stock market in March next year.
The government has already approved the corporatization of HBL, UBL,
ABL and NBP.
IFC wants its funds back from BoK
International Finance Corporation wants the
provincial public sector, Bank of Khyber, to return its funds which
the bank had availed before getting the $10 million credit line
discontinued by the IFC, official sources told on Tuesday.
In a recent communique, said the sources, IFC had
requested the repayment of its funds from the Bank of Khyber (BoK).
Under an agreement signed between IFC and BoK, back in November 1995,
the former was supposed to extend a credit line of $10 million.
Foreign aid policy
Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz, on Monday said,
government plans to minimize its dependence on foreign assistance and
a new policy in this regard is in the offing.
He made these remarks during a meeting with the
delegation of Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry led by its
President Raja Tariq Kiyani.
Shaukat Aziz said there is no chance of default and
IMF's recent tranche has minimized the pressure of utilizing foreign
reserves and the government is committed to enhance its resources for
the betterment of economy.