Mar 12 -
Decrease in oil prices
The government on Wednesday announced decrease in
the petroleum prices ranging from seven to 17 per cent on six
different products including petrol, kerosene and diesel.
The downward revision, which takes effect
immediately, has brought prices to the level at which they had been
before the last increase made on Dec 30, 2000.
In another significant move towards deregulation,
the government has also partially done away with the freight pool
system, Secretary Petroleum Abdullah Yousaf told a press conference.
However, the government would ensure sale of
petroleum products at unified prices in remote areas like Azad
Kashmir, Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and remote areas
of Balochistan, Mr Yousaf said.
A decrease of 6.98 per cent or Rs2.25 a litre has
been made in the price of petrol (MS 87 Ron) by bringing it down from
Rs32.25 to Rs30 a litre.
The price of HOBC has been reduced to Rs33 a litre
from Rs35.25 — a decrease of 6.38 per cent or Rs2.25 a litre.
The prices of kerosene and diesel, products largely
consumed by people in the low income group, have also been reduced by
7.58 per cent a litre and 15.62 per cent a litre, respectively.
Kerosene has been made cheaper by Rs1.25 a litre by
bringing its price down from Rs16.50 a litre to Rs15.25 a litre.
High speed diesel would be available in the market
at the rate of Rs15.40 a litre as its price has been reduced by 16.92
per cent a litre or Rs2.75.
Light diesel oil has been reduced by 16.92 per cent
or Rs2.75 a litre from Rs16.25 a litre to Rs13.50 a litre.
The highest decrease approved by the federal
cabinet on the recommendation of the petroleum ministry was in JP-4,
aviation fuel used by defence aircraft. Its prices decreased by 16.99
per cent a litre or Rs3.10 a litre.
IMF to disburse $138m this month
Pakistan has received a letter of intent (LoI) from
the IMF to get the second tranche of 138 million dollars disbursed
within this month, said Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz.
Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, he said
the LoI would be signed and sent back to Washington by the government
at the end of this week. "Things seem to be heading in the right
direction to secure the second tranche of 138 million dollars, out of
the 596-million-dollar Standby Arrangement (SBA)," he added.
He pointed out that the IMF board would formally
approve the second tranche some time within this month. Pakistan had
earlier received the first tranche of 190 million dollars in December
According to the schedule, third and fourth
instalments would be disbursed by the IMF in June and September this
year, when the programme period ends.
Rs11 billion missing from SAP account: report
An amount of Rs11 billion, which the government was
supposed to spend under Social Action Programme as a condition to
Japanese loan of $250 million, was never transferred to SAP account,
according to a report of Auditor General of Pakistan.
Japan had given $250 million loan in March 1998 for
improving banking sector with a condition that the government of
Pakistan would deposit an equivalent amount of Rs11 billion in the
"Counterpart Fund Account" with the State Bank and transfer
the same to SAP account for the execution of health and education
projects all over the country.
Instead of depositing the entire amount of Rs11
billion with the State Bank, the government deposited less than one
per cent of the money i.e. Rs10.942 million with the SBP on March 27,
1998, and even that amount was never transferred to SAP accounts.
Treet Corporation Limited of the Wazir Ali group of
Industries, reported 5% drop in sales to Rs 634.8m for the year ended
June 30, 2000, from Rs 667.7m the previous year. Pretax profit
declined 34.6% to Rs 51.6m for financial year 1999-2000, from a year
ago pretax profit at Rs 78.9m. After tax profit stood reduced by 41.5%
to Rs 29.6m, from Rs 50.6m.
WAPDA seeks increase in tariff
The Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA)
has once again requested the National Electric Power Regulatory
Authority (Nepra) to increase the consumer tariff by almost one rupee
per kwh, official sources said.
The WAPDA in its written request, has given three
reasons justifying its demand, including water shortage in major
reservoirs, which has affected the WAPDA hydel power generation
Special loaning facilities
Habib Bank President, Zakir Mahmood, Saturday
pledged special loaning facilities to medium and small industries for
setting- up industries in the textile sector.
Speaking at a joint meeting of chambermen, ginners
and other members of various communities at the Bahawalpur Circuit
House, the HBL President said that Bahawalpur is a 'model' of cotton
growing area. However, it has been upgraded on priority basis as a 'centre
of financing sector'. He said after upgradation, efforts were being
made to strengthen customer-bank relationship through speedy financial
Diamond Industries Limited had reported pretax
profit amounting to Rs83.0 million on sales valued at Rs292.7 million.
$8.6b paid to service debt
Pakistan repaid a total amount of $8.66 billion on
account of debt-servicing to 25 countries, during the period 1994-95
to 1999-2000, according to official statistics available on Thursday.
The proportion of interest in these re-payments was
25.57 per cent ($2.21 billion), while the principal totalled $6.44
A major portion of the debt-service or 91.03 per
cent ($7.88 billion) was on account of loans owed to the Paris Club,
which comprises 19 countries including those of the West and Japan and
South Korea. This included $5.88 billion as principal and $2 billion
HSBC Holdings Plc made a profit before tax of
$9,775m in 2000, rising by 22% as compared to 1999. Profit
attributable to shareholders was $6,628m, an increase of 23%, says a