8 oil & gas companies
The government on Thursday announced full autonomy to eight oil and gas
companies under the ministry of petroleum and natural resources.
Making formal announcement at a press conference, Federal Minister for
Petroleum and Natural Resources Usman Aminuddin said the companies including, Pakistan
Petroleum (PPL), Oil and Gas Development Co (OGDCL), Sui Southern Gas Co (SSGCL), Sui
Northern Gas Pipelines (SNGPL), Pakistan State Oil (PSO), National Refinery (NRL), Pak
Arab Refinery (PARCO), and Attock Refinery (ARL) have been given an independent status
with immediate effect.
He said an approval to reach the decision was accorded by the federal
cabinet during its Wednesday's meeting chaired by the Chief Executive General Pervez
The meeting had also approved the appointment of the Chairmen, Board
Members and Managing Directors of the companies which have been given autonomous status.
The minister for petroleum and natural resources while citing details
about the powers given to the newly inducted management of the companies said, 'they will
enjoy full powers to run their respective companies on purely professional and commercial
terms.' The management of these companies will be above all influence, he said.
He hoped the decision would help overcome the menaces of nepotism,
corruption, plunder, and misuse of power which he said had been an order of the day in the
public sector companies.
Regarding the role of ministry, he said, it will be supportive and rule
framing body, that has hardly any influential role as far as the management affairs of the
companies are concerned.
The Minister while elaborating the powers delegated to the chairman,
managing director and directors of the companies said, chairman having non-executive
powers would chair the meeting of the board of directors, managing director each of the
company will enjoy all the executive powers and the directors are heads of the different
wings of the specific organization.
Govt to focus on a poverty alleviation in economic policy
The new focus of the official economic policy is on poverty
alleviation, according to finance minister Shaukat Aziz who was speaking at the concluding
session of the two-day policy dialogue on micro-finance in economic development and
He said the government will set reasonable socio-economic targets,
focus on a more equitable growth and formulate directed policies for key sectors like
agriculture, oil and gas, small and medium industry and information technology.
Discussing the proposed Microcredit Bank, the minister said this Bank
would be a key instrument of government's poverty reduction strategy and its main
rationale will be to increase the access of poor to financial services and will be based
on a group lending methodology.
The minister clarified that the Microcredit Bank would undertake
sustainable operations through cost recovery and the Bank will be regulated through an
enforceable regulatory system.
$335,000 bio-fertilizer project okayed (Box)
Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has approved $335,000 of financing for a
Bio-Fertilizer project in Pakistan.
The project titled " Use of Bio-fertilizer for Increasing
Sustainable Crop Production in Muslin Countries and establishment of Bio-fertilizer of
Resource Centre ( BIRCEN)" will be set up at National Institute for Biotechnology and
Genetic Engineering (NIBGE), Faisalabad.
IDB will provide US$ 300,000 for purchase of equipment for BIRCEN
project. Another US$ 35,000 will be provided for networking, publications and
IDB Board of Executive Directors (BED) has approved the funding for the
project under its Technical Assistance (Grant) Programme.
As far as training of the scientists from other IDB member countries is
concerned it would be financed under IDB's Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP), says a
GDP target may not be achieved: SBP report
The State Bank has warned that Pakistan GDP (gross domestic product)
may not grow to the target level of 5 per cent during fiscal year 1999-2000.
In fiscal 1998-99, GDP had grown only 3.1 per cent against the target
of 6 per cent. The SBP report does not specify an expected level to which it may grow this
The report implies that the current fiscal year may close with around 4
per cent inflation as measured by consumer price index. "On the basis of existing
trends the rate of increase in prices may be around 4 per cent," this is exactly how
the report puts it after commenting in detail on inflation.
Inflation rate goes up by 3.37pc (Industry
The inflation rate has gone up by 3.37%, since last July, indicating
more economic stagnation than any real decline in the cost of living, conforms the
Consumer Price Index.
The monthly price data released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics
(FBS), after withholding it for two days on Saturday, the ratio of increase in inflation
rate was substantially lower than during July-January, 1998-99 (6.49%) and 1997-98
The lower rates of increase (3.37% for CPI, 1.84% for Sensitive Price
Indicator and 1.53% for Wholesale Price Index) are, in fact, the fruits of creative
manipulation and categorization, meant to induce complacency in the government.
Kohat tunnel rock blasting inaugurated
The rock blasting ceremony of Kohat Tunnel project was formally
inaugurated here on Saturday which, after completion, would reduce the distance between
Karachi and Peshawar on Indus Highway.
The total cost of the project is estimated at Rs 6.626 billion and will
be completed in next three and a half years. Besides constructing the two kilometres
tunnel in the rocky mountain, about 28 km access roads from north and south of the tunnel
will be built.
The tunnel will reduce the distance between Kohat and Darra Adam Khel
by 5 km and it will also save 30 minutes travel time of the vehicles.
The Kohat tunnel project is an integral part of the 1200 Km long, Rs 38
billion Indus Highway, running south to worth of the country. The Indus Highway projects,
after completion will reduce the distance by 400 km between Karachi and Peshawar.