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Feb 21 - 27, 2000

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

CTA for duty-free import of yarn

The Council of Textile Associations (CTA) has urged the government to immediately allow free import of cotton yarn to check the rising prices of the commodity in the local market.

Despite the fact that the country has harvested good cotton crop this season which help to bring down cotton prices to a record low at Rs 1200 to Rs 1500 per maund yet cotton yarn prices in the local market did not come down in sympathy.

The CTA chief S M A Rizvi in a statement has further said that barring big cartels of spinners all other players in the cotton trade, including grower, weak spinning mills and value added textile industry did not at all benefited from the cotton bonanza.

Furnace oil prices up

The federal government has increased the prices of furnace oil by 15 per cent, an official announcement said on Wednesday.

The price of furnace oil has now jumped up to Rs 8377.75. from Rs 7285.00 per ton. The last increase in the furnace oil was made on Dec 11, 1999 when it was raised from Rs 6070 per ton to Rs 7285 per ton.

Duty rate on import of 'sizing' agents fixed at 25pc

Textile industry has been notified that the World Customs Organisation (WCO) has fixed the duty rate on import of the sizing agents at 25%.

According to a CBR CGO, No 5/2000, dated Feb lS, this rate will be applicable under the Pakistan Customs Tariff heading No 3809.9100 and it explains the position as follows:

The dispute of tariff of sizing agents, namely 'sizetex SA' and 'sizetex ZA' composed of sodium alginate in association with starch and organic inhabitants/additives, has been examined and the concerned WCO Directorate has been consulted. Two headings (38.39 and 39.13 have been considered for their classification. Heading 39.13 covers natural polymers like algenic acids, and modified NPs like hardened proteins, chemical derivatives of natural rubber.

PC invites EoI for LPG units' sell-off

Privatization Commission has invited expression of interest (EoI), for liquefied petroleum gas business of Sui Southern Gas Co (SSGC), Sui Northern Gas Co (SNGPL) and Pakistan State Oil (PSO), a press release said.

The major assets available in SSGC's LPG include quota of 20,000 metric tonnes a year, bottling plants and storage tanks in Karachi, Quetta and Dhumal and, nationwide circulation of 300 dealers. SSGC's 220,000 domestic and commercial cylinders are in circulation. SNGPL's quota is 17,500 metric tonnes a year while other assets of SNGPL include storage tanks in Meyal and Dhurnal for 530MT of LPG, bottling, marketing network of 76 distributors supplying LPG to 44 towns and provinces of Punjab, NWFP and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

FSCR bans marketing of imported potato seeds

Federal Seed Certification and Registration (FSCR) department has issued notices to the private seed companies asking them to stop selling imported potato seed to the farmers as results show the seed is substandard, carrying powdery disease in this most relished kitchen item of every Pakistani home.

PSCR's regional director Mian Muhammad Wajid told newsmen here that the powdery disease detected in the seed not only damaged potatoes but left its deleterious effects in the soil for at least next ten years.

Pak basmati import accord

A delegation of US importers is arriving here to sign import agreements with exporters of basmati rice, which has successfully competed with the Indian variety in the US market, trade sources said.

Led by Ishtiaq Javed, representative of one of the big rice importers in the United States Halee Internatrional Importers, the US importers are likely to visit all major towns in the country in search of good quality basmati rice.

Pakistani rice, under the brand name of 'Mughal Karnal Basmati' has dramatically captured the US market during the last few months while competing with India's Tilda quality, sources said.

Petroleum import bill goes up by 83pc

The increase in the import bill of petroleum group by 83 percent during the July-January period of this fiscal has resulted in expanding the overall trade deficit to $ 1.013 billion.

According to the provisional data released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics, the country has suffered a record $ 247 million deficit due to 23.8 percent drastic growth in imports last month.

Sector-wise current trade data shows that during the July-January 1999-2000, the import of 6,558,783 tonnes of petroleum products at a cost of $ 1,006:891 million while the imported quantity last fiscal year was 5,733.288 metric tonnes costing $ 532.530 million. The percentage change in quantity is 14.40 percent while it is 89.08 percent in value.

The import of 2,582,001 tonnes of petroleum crude during this period costed $ 436.101 million as against the 2,686,283 metric tonnes valued at $ 241.612 million during the corresponding period last year. The import decreased by 3.88 percent during this period but its value increased by 80.50 percent.

The import of agriculture machinery valued $ 30.570 million during this period as against $ 16.706 million during the same period last fiscal. The percentage change in value increased by 83 percent.

The import of 46,309 tonnes of jute costed $ 12.586 million whereas it was 34,024 tonnes valued at $ 8.539 million during the same period last fiscal. The change in quantity is 36.11 percent while in monetary terms it is 47.39 percent.

Sugar may have to be imported this season

Pakistan may have to import sugar during 2000 to meet its domestic requirement of 3.2 million tonnes, as the expected yield is estimated at only 3 million tonnes due to an expected 20 percent fall in sugarcane's supply.

Official sources said on Saturday that the Agriculture Price Commission (APC) in its report to the government had said that due to 20 percent short production this year, the country is expected to yield only 3 million tonnes sugar against the local demand of 3.2 million tonnes.

The APC was asked by the government to give its comments on sugar export issue to be discussed by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet in its meeting next week.