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Feb 14 - 20, 2000

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

Industrial unit owners threaten closure

Over 700 manufacturing units at one of the thickly populated industrial estate Township have threatened a complete closure after four weeks if condition of civic amenities there were not improved immediately.

A meeting of unit owners have informed the Punjab government that it has become virtually impossible for them to run their business activities at the Township estate for want of basic civic facilities. "We have given a notice of four weeks to the provincial administration.

CE names 4 areas for self-reliant economy

Chief Executive Gen. Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday identified four areas for developing a self-reliant national economy: increase in revenue collection, reduction in non-development expenditure, providing opportunities and incentives for direct foreign investment, and encouraging local producers to increase exports.

He was addressing a select audience comprising diplomats, foreign investors, federal ministers, industrialists and high-ups of the civil and military bureaucracy at the inauguration ceremony of PVC plant of EngroAsahi Polymer and Chemicals Ltd. in the Port Qasim area, District Malir.

He called upon the foreign investors to invest in Pakistan in oil and gas exploration. "Exploration and enhanced production hold great potential for the growth of downstream petrochemical industry and projects like Engro Asahi," he added.

He said the government would encourage the setting up of such projects since they would promote technology transfer, industrial infrastructure development and job creation.

Gen. Musharraf said: "We will support private sector's efforts to work with the government to develop commerce and industry. In this regard, we will assist Engro Asahi in its efforts to support the development of engineering, chemical, housing and agricultural sectors."

He said the Ministry of Industries is preparing a long-term plan for development of chemicals industry by examining the whole value chain from raw material to finished products.

He said the government was creating investor-friendly atmosphere and would ensure stability and continuity of the investment policy. The government would take measures that succeeding governments stick to this investment policies.

He said he was conscious of the necessity of foreign investment in Pakistan and would take measures to give credibility to its policies and commitments to invite foreign investment.

Probe into Saindak cost over-runs

The government will constitute a high level committee to probe into the massive cost over-runs in Saindak project, which resulted into huge loss to the public exchequer.

The committee will be headed by the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, with members from the Ministries of Finance, Petroleum and Natural Resources.

According to official sources, the committee will initiate steps to identify those responsible, over the past 12 years, for significant acts of omission and commission which resulted in massive cost over runs and loss to the public exchequer.

The federal cabinet, in its February 2 meeting, decided to explore new possibilities to restart the Saindak Copper-Gold project by inviting bids for leasing to competent firms selected through open bidding process as well as by inviting renewal of interest by China.

PTCL high tariffs impeding IT culture

The internet and information technology in Pakistan cannot reach higher rungs unless the exorbitant tariff of Pakistan Telecommunications Corporation Ltd is reduced to compare favourably with the tariffs of other countries of this region. Presently the PTCL's tariff of international link is higher by 1000% (one thousand per cent) than those of the other countries in the neighbourhood.

Sanaullah Bhutta president ISPAK (Internet Service Providers' Association) pointed out that PTCL was already making profits of more than 1000% on its internationally leased circuits and the revenue collected from this sector was less than 1% of the total revenue collected by PTCL.


Industrialization is the panacea for resolving Pakistan's economic crisis, said Siemens (Pakistan) Managing Director, Sohail Wajahat Siddiqui.

Inaugurating a technical seminar on "Low Voltage Components & Automation Systems", held under the aegis of Siemens, he said the cherished goal of rapid industrialization and increase in production could only be accomplished through automation and upgradation of our industrial facilities.

Cotton output

Pakistan's top cotton body said it had raised its cotton production forecast to 10.7 million bales from a previous estimate of 10.5 million. "It was unanimously agreed that the cotton production this season may be around 10.7 million bales," a statement from the Committee on Cotton Crop Assessment said. Last year actual output was 8.7 million bales. It was the second upward revision for the output target since the start of crop sowing in Sept.

GDP growth to touch 4.5 pc mark by June: Shaukat

Federal Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz has expressed the hope that the national GDP growth rate will touch the 4 to 4.5 percent mark by June 30.

Addressing a press conference at the Institute of Overseas Pakistanis here on Monday, he stated that the government had introduced policies aimed at achieving sustainable growth and improvement in the economy. He said that these policies had shown some positive trends, such as improved performance of the stock market and the textile sector.

Shaukat said that tax collection had registered 20 percent increase during the first half of the current financial year while exports had shown 8 to 9 percent increase during this period. He claimed that foreign investment was coming to the stock market though at a slow pace. He said that the economic revival plan of the government, when implemented fully, would boost the confidence of the investors in Pakistan.