12 - 25, 2001
CE sees GDP at 4%, exports $9.5 billion
Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf has said that the
annual growth rate this fiscal would be four per cent and the export is expected
at around $9.5 billion.
The chief executive said the GDP growth last fiscal was 4.2
per cent, reflecting improvement over the 3.1 per cent earlier year. Agriculture
played the major role in the higher growth rate, particularly the wheat, cotton
and rice. He said the agriculture growth would be slack this year, due to
prevailing drought, but hastened to add that manufacturing sector would
compensate for the shortfall.
Musharraf observed that the government had set the export
target for this year at $10 billion. Although the actual target would fall
slightly short, the improvement of nine per cent over the previous year's target
which itself was higher by 10 per cent of the year preceding, was no mean
achievement. He said new export markets of Egypt, Iraq and Syria were being
Musharraf stated that he had been conferring with the
Pakistan Development Forum (PDF) — a body of all foreign donors - and they had
expressed satisfaction over Pakistan's economic progress and the measures being
taken to stabilize the economy. "They have assured of maximum possible
assistance in the future as well," he said.
He said his government had been able to retrieve the economy
from total collapse last year and the figures for the first eight months of this
year show a 'visible reversal' in the earlier downturn of the economy. He said
he had his eye on the revenue collection and the February revenue receipts were
higher by 26 per cent over the revenue collected last year.
Musharraf said the capital gains tax exemption, which is to
expire in June this year, would "certainly be" extended in the next
budget. Regarding the other demands of the stock exchange, viz tax exemption on
bonus shares; tax exemption for clearing house protection fund and investors
protection fund and privatization through the stock exchange, he said the
government would look closely at them.
Kohat oil discovery to earn $49.6m
The Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) has
struck major oil reserves with about 4,300 barrels of oil and 13.37 million
cubic feet of gas per day output here, about 70 Kms from Kohat District of NWFP.
Discovery of three zones in Chanda deep well No.1 has
initially produced 900, 1150 and 2250bpd respectively which has increased total
production from the area to 5,500bpd with an estimated earning of $49.620
million per annum, officials at OGDCL told APP Wednesday.
The company is already producing about 1200bpd and 5.19
million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) natural gas from another well in the same
petroleum concession area.
Operation Manager, Syed Baidar Qamar said Chanda deep well
No.1 was successfully drilled down to its target depth of 5100 meters.
He said the drilling of Chanda deep well started in January
last year and completed in 330 days, 10 days ahead of its proposed time.
Small dams planned all over country, says Musharraf
Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday said many
small dams costing about Rs200 billion would be built at various sites in the
four provinces to address the water shortage problem.
He was responding to a question asked by a woman councillor
at the concluding session of women councillors' convention. Gen Musharraf said
it was not right to think that construction of only Kalabagh dam could fulfil
the irrigation and power generation needs of the country.
He said instead of insisting on building Kalabagh Dam in the
presence of reservations of Sindh and the NWFP provinces, the government had
decided to prepare feasibility for small dams like Hingol Dam in Balochistan,
Gomal Zam Dam in the NWFP and Sehwan Dam in Sindh.
Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz on Thursday said the government
did not want to raise its defence spending in the real terms in the next budget
but an increase could not be ruled out.
"We want to maintain the defence budget at the current
level in the real terms after factoring in the impact of inflation. But it may
be increased. I can't say anything (right now). It will be known only when the
budget (for the financial year 2001-02) is announced," the minister told.
Reforms in farm sector
Pakistan has made an "urgent request" to the Asian
Development Bank to release $200 million loan this year for carrying out reforms
in agriculture sector.
The ADB had earlier told Islamabad that it would not release
the money this year because of agriculture ministry's failure to conduct
required studies on different areas of farm sector.
WB, donor agencies to help revive economy
International donor agencies led by World Bank have decided
to support Pakistan in efforts to revive its economy, specially to help it to
increase the growth rate and reduce poverty in the country.
"On the first day of the Pakistan Development Forum
session, the donor community also expressed support for steps to improve methods
of governance and improve social indicators," a senior official who was at
the meeting said.
Briefing reporters, Economic Advisor of the Ministry of
Finance Dr Ishfaq Hasan Khan said that the PDF meeting was being attended by 115
delegates from 17 countries and 12 international agencies. He said 20 people
from private sector also attended the meeting.
Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged the
Government to promote industrial development instead of exploiting
Khawaja Mohammed Yousaf, President MCCI, in a press statement
Saturday said WAPDA has demanded enhanced 'security deposits' for extension of
industrial load from B-1 to B-4 and questioned the justification for the demand.