Cabinet body okays
The Cabinet Committee on Ports and Shipping approved in principle, the
Shipping Policy 2000.
The Committee, which met here with Chief Executive General Pervez
Musharraf in the chair, also approved in principle the Merchant Shipping Ordinance - 2000.
The Committee directed that the Shipping Policy and Merchant Shipping
Ordinance be presented to the Federal Cabinet for approval and promulgation.
The meeting of the Cabinet Committee was held in light of the decision
taken at the joint session of the National Security Council (NSC) and the Federal Cabinet
on Jan 5.
The meeting reviewed the prioritization of existing developmental and
operational plans in the sectors of Ports and Shipping.
Secretary Communication, Dr Akram Shaikh apprised the participants
about the plans, priorities, implementation strategies and recommendations in Ports and
Shipping with the aim of maximizing output, facilitating trade and minimizing wastage.
With regard to the Shipping Sector, it was decided that in addition to
the Public Sector, the Private Sector would also be encouraged to play its role in a
Prudential regulations for Modaraba cos finalized
Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) finalized new
Prudential Regulations for the operation of Modaraba companies which obligate them to hold
an Annual Review Meeting (ARM) with their certificate holders.
Missing in the original Modaraba law, the provision 'injects an element
of accountability' of the management of these companies to their investors, remarked Mr
Shamim Ahmed Khan, chairman SECP, after the meeting which approved the Prudential
It, however, stops short of giving holders the right of vote to approve
decisions of the management. The certificate holders would, however, have the opportunity
in ARM to discuss the investment policies and other operational matters of respective
PBIT may be wound up
The Punjab government proposes to shortly wind up operations of the
18-month old Punjab Board of Investment amd Trade (PBIT).
The proposal for winding up the PBIT operations, an autonomous body,
was mooted by its directors during their meeting held here on Jan 31. However, the PBIT
will not be disbanded as a 'company or organization' so that the government does not have
to start the whole legal process afresh if it decides to revive (a remote possibility) the
board at any point in the future.
Privatisation of big assets after 15th: PC chief
Privatisation of major state-owned assets will begin after February 15,
soon after the privatization law is finalised, Privatisation Commission (PC) Chairman
Aftab M. Saleem said.
The PC chairman in his maiden press conference said that the policy
would be ready by the middle of this month after its final approval from the highest
authority and the privatization law will be ready for its vetting by the Law Ministry
within this time.
He said privatization was the top most agenda of his government's
economic policy, as financial haemorrhage through insolvent state corporations was well
over Rs 100 billion annually, which is tax-payers' money going down the drain.
A visiting Islamic Development Bank mission has assured Pak-Libya
Holding company that IDB may consider their request for export finance credit line.
The two-member mission comprising Salih A.Bin Jamiaan and Moinuddin
lent the assurance to MD of Pak-Libya Holding Co. Zaigham Rizvi at a meeting with him on
Monday, says a press release.
Number of taxes to be cut to three: Shaukat
Finance Minister, Shaukat Aziz, has said that government has positive
signs of improvement in the economy with an 11pc increase in exports.
"Our ultimate desire is to reduce federal taxes only to three
during this budget, if not than in the next and rationalize the remaining taxes", he
said while addressing the CBR officers, Collectors and Senior officials of Customs at the
Custom House on Tuesday.
Noting that exports are rising and inflation still quite low, Shaukat
Aziz said that our exchange rate policy is stable and the initial signs are very
He said the agriculture crop was very good and rather superb. He said
with fixation of wheat price at Rs 300 per maund by the government, has yielded good
results and the country expects a bumper crop.
22 per cent mark-up on funds off limits
Habib Bank has decided to charge 22 per cent mark-up on working capital
finances drawn beyond the sanctioned limit without any prearrangement. The maximum markup
on normal financing of all types minus concessional schemes remains intact at 18.25 per
Sources at HBL said the new tariff of bank charges effective from
January 1, 2000 envisages a punitive clause to tackle cases of irregular working capital
Under this clause HBL branches are bound to charge a high mark-up of 60
paisa per one thousand rupees per day or 21.90 per cent if working capital is drawn beyond
the limit. The same mark-up is applicable on all unauthorized drawings.
New President of Habib Bank Zakir Mahmood took over the charge of his
office from outgoing president Shaukat Tarin.
PSO's new MD
The newly appointed Managing Director of Pakistan State Oil (PSO)
Shaukat Mirza, has taken over the charge of the post on Monday.
No wealth tax from July 1
Federal Interior Minister Lt. Gen. Moin Uddin Haider (Retd) said that
wealth tax is being withdrawn by the next financial year.
Haider was addressing a seminar on 'good governance' held here under
the auspices of the Centre for Development and Democracy at a hotel.
He said there would be an important announcement next month on
'district government' by Chief Executive Gen. Pervez Musharraf. It would set the tone for
devolution of powers from the federal government to the provincial government and then to
the grassroots levels in districts.