. .

Dec 18 - 24, 2000

People urged to elect honest candidates

The devolution of power plan is being introduced to bring revolutionary changes in the political structure without which the country could not be set on the path of prosperity.

This was said by Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf while speaking at a public gathering at Jauharabad on Thursday.

He urged the people to elect honest, patriotic and dedicated candidates in the forthcoming local government elections. Gen Musharraf said that if they committed the same mistake they were repeating for the last 53 years, and elected the old faces they would not get any benefit of the plan.

He said that the decentralization of powers, being implemented in phases, was one of the seven-point agenda of his government, which he had unveiled in his address to the nation on Oct 16 last year.

He said that the new system of governance would be implemented througout the country from August 2001 which will usher in new era of progress in the country.

Gen Musharraf said the district assemblies would be independent in financial matters and the elected people would approve developmental projects at their own.

Another objective of the plan, Gen Musharraf said, was to provide speedy justice to the poor at their doorstep by bringing changes in judicial system.

The chief executive said that he had decided to change the name of poverty alleviation programme. It would be called "Khushhal (prosperous) Pakistan Programme".

Gen Musharraf said that Rs35 billion would be spent on various poverty alleviation schemes under the programme out of which Rs300 million would be given to Khushab district.

Gas connection would be provided to the twin cities of Khushab and Jauharabad after getting a feasibility report.

Deep-sea fishing

China has asked Pakistan to reconsider its recent decision of cancelling deep-sea fishing licences, saying it has caused huge losses to its firm.

The Chinese government has also renewed its offer for signing a long-term fisheries cooperation agreement with Pakistan on mutually beneficial terms.

The government had cancelled deep-sea fishing licences of 31 foreign and local firms, including five of China International Fishing Corporation in October. South Korea has already lodged protest with Pakistan for cancelling fishing licence of its firm.

S&P assigns 'B+' rating to PIBs

Standard & Poor's said on Thursday it assigned its single B-plus credit rating to Pakistan's new tradeable long-term local currency bonds with bullet maturities of three, five and 10 years.

The issuance of 4.44 billion rupees ($78 million) worth of the bonds on December 12 marks the launch of the government's planned shift to market-based pricing on its domestic debt.

At the same time, Standard & Poor's affirmed all its sovereign and senior unsecured credit ratings on Pakistan, including the single B-plus long-term local currency rating.

Foreign franchise may be allowed to remit forex

Services and agricultural foreign franchise are being allowed to remit foreign exchange for five years, provided they induct new technology and invest in upstream projects.

Official sources said that the ministry of finance, commerce, industries and Board of Investment have agreed on a formula that if these foreign franchise induct new technology and also invest in upstream projects, they should be allowed to remit foreign exchange for five years.

PIA sell-off

The Privatization of Pakistan International Airlines Corporation has been agreed upon in principle and steps are under way to appoint a Financial Advisor. This was stated by Federal Minister for Privatization, Altaf M. Saleem, while talking to the Canadian High Commissioner in Pakistan Mr. Ferry De Kerckhove who called on the minister on Tuesday

Interactive Portal signs joint venture

Pakistan's first interactive portal Megaeast.com has signed a joint venture agreement with g77tin.org to offer its such users as exporters, importers and those dealing in logistics an enhanced opportunity on the business front.

It is the first ever business-to-business (B2B) promotional joint venture (JV) in Pakistan, said Megaeast.com chief executive Mumtaz Hasan, WorldCALL marketing manager Mubashir Lucman and g77 official Amir Qureishi at a press conference on Tuesday.

Liquidation of Cooperative Bank advised

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has asked the federal government to start the process of liquidation of Federal Bank for Cooperative (FBC) and shift its functions to the Agricultural Development Bank of Pakistan (ADBP).

The SBP further recommended to Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz that after the FBC liquidation, the supervision and development of cooperatives in the rural areas should be reverted back to the respective provinces as cooperative is a provincial subject.

WorldCall Multimedia to be listed

WorldCALL Multimedia Ltd proposes to list itself on the stock exchange, offering 25 million shares of Rs10 each for public subscription next month for raising funds for its future expansion.

Lakhani elected

The Annual General meeting of the Karachi Stock Exchange, formally declared Mohammad Yasin Lakhani and Muhammad Siddique Dalal as Chairman and Vice Chairman of KSE.

They were declared elected unopposed on December 4 when the final list after withdrawal of their opponents was finalized.

Fertilizer policy

The Ministry of Industries and Production has finalized the draft Fertilizer policy for 2000-2010 and will be submitted to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet soon for approval.