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Feb 07 - 13, 2000

  1. International
  2. Finance
  3. Industry
  4. Policy
  5. Trade
  6. Gulf

China firm offers to invest Rsl.5bn in tractor assembly

A Chinese firm has offered an investment of Rsl.5bn in tractor manufacturing industry by setting up assembling plant of tractors and automobiles.

Official sources told the Board of Investment (BOI) has contacted federal agriculture ministry for comments on this offer.

Views have also been sought from the ministry about the use and efficacy of the small Chinese tractors of 15-18 Horse Power which the Chinese company wishes to introduce produce in Pakistan.

The firm 'China Gold-Ox Pakistan Ltd' claimed that it has planned to export approximately 5000 to 20000 tractors, three wheelers, pick ups, vans, generator sets, diesel engines etc to Africa, South America and Asian countries.

The company wants government to issue a fresh SRO 921(1094) to allow it to import Chinese tractor without duty, sales tax, income and other taxes.

The firm said, the whole machinery will also be made locally under the joint venture with its Principals, MS China Zhengzhou Gold-Ox Group (GOG).

New skills, credits for rural uplift envisaged

The National Security Council (NSC) and the federal cabinet, which met separately, approved a Rs 15 billion poverty alleviation programme and decided to explore possibilities to restart the Saindak Project.

During the meetings, which were chaired by Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf, it was decided to utilise the amount of Rs 15 billion by December 31, 2000 for the development of infrastructure and all other projects aimed at reducing poverty.

According to official sources, the Chief Executive said that there was a great need to generate more resources with a view to reduce the incidence of poverty in Pakistan.

He directed the concerned authorities to pay more attention to alleviation of poverty, specially in the rural areas, by providing new skills and through small credit.

It was observed that because the local bodies elections were scheduled to be held before the end of this year, the poverty alleviation programme would be implemented through close cooperation and coordination among local communities, district administration and army teams monitoring the desilting of canals.

The government has already established a macro credit bank to extend small loans amounting to Rs 10,000 to 15,000 to the deserving people.

Officials related to the poverty alleviation programme when contacted said that the Central Board of Revenue(CBR) was expected to not only achieve Rs 379 billion upwardly revised revenue collection target for the current financial year but also to manage Rs 400 billion to Rs 425 billion in 2000-2001, specially by recovering GST from small traders.

The purpose, they said, was to generate more funds for poverty reduction and other development purposes.

Wheat target

Federal Food and Agriculture Secretary, Dr. Zafar Altaf hoped that Pakistan would achieve its 20 million metric tonnes wheat production target this year. The country produced 17.9 million tonnes of wheat last year.

Sick units

Revival of sick industries in Sindh province came under discussion at a meeting held to review the performance of Industries, Labour and Transport Departments with Provincial Minister Dewan Muhammed Yusuf Farooqui. Reviewing the issue relating to sick industrial units, the Minister directed the categorization of these units into those which can be revived and those which require financial support for meeting their liabilities.

ADBP allocates Rs7bn

The Agricultural Development Bank of Pakistan has allocated Rs seven billion for current fiscal (1999- 2000) to finance 30,000 tractors as compared to financing of 16951 tractors worth Rs. 4510 million during 1998-99.

About 10,000 tractors have been financed during July to December, 99 besides issuance of 2600 demand drafts for which tractors delivery is yet to be made by tractor manufacturers, sources at ADBP said.

The slow pace of tractor sales is due to preferential treatment of tractor manufacturers/suppliers to sell the tractors on cash, sources added.

Zeal Pak closed

The management of the Zeal Pak Cement Factory has announced closure of the plant with effect from Feb 1 citing financial and other problems.

PERAC units to be merged with PIDC, SEC

Government has decided to merge PERAC units with PIDC and State Engineering Corporation (SEC) and the merger will be effective from 5th Feb. 2000.

As a sequel to earlier privatization of that units of State Petroleum and Petro-chemical Corporation Ltd (PERAC) and transfer of National Refinery Ltd (NRL) to Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, it had become economically unviable to operate PERAC as an independent Corporation.

200m tonnes iron ore identified

Geological survey of Pakistan has identified about 200 million tonnes of economically viable iron ore reserves near Dilband in Kalat District, Balochistan.

These deposits are only 65 km from Manguchar, which is located on Quetta-Karachi highway about 600 km from Karachi.

The ore consists of hematite with quartz, calcite and chlorite as gangue minerals. The total iron oxide content of the ore varies from 52 to 62.25 percent.

The mineralised zone ranges in thickness from 1.65 to 3.5 metres. The horizon is exposed for a strike length of over 12 km.

Dawood Group acquires 30pc shares of Engro

Dawood Group, it is learnt, has acquired 25 to 30 percent shares of Engro Chemicals which might entitle them to get two or three seats in the Board of Directors of the company.