Mar 12 -
Pakistan seeks $6 billion soft-term loans
Pakistan has requested for $6 billion soft-term
loan from foreign donors to gradually pay off its huge $21 billion
foreign loans during the next four-year period.
"We have requested for both soft-term loans
and grants at the end of the three-day meeting of the Pakistan
Development Forum (PDF)," said Minister for Finance Shaukat Aziz.
Speaking at a news conference with World Bank Vice
President Ms Meiko Nishimizu on Wednesday, he said Pakistan has also
made it clear that it planned to implement its own home-grown
structural reforms programme to revive the economy rather than
accepting any foreign recipe.
Both were asked whether the donors have taken up
the report of the Debt Reduction and Management Committee in which
they were expected to help Pakistan by offering $6 billion soft-term
loan and $4 billion debt relief for paying its $21 billion foreign
debt in four years period. "Yes we have sought their support and
received an encouraging response," the finance minister said.
Ms Nishimizu said that the donors had received the
request for new funding line for Pakistan which would be considered
systematically. "We will look into it though it takes time to
finalize the process by the bank," she remarked.
Responding to a question, the finance minister
denied that the PDF participants had raised questions about the
revival of democracy or cutting down the defence expenditure.
The vice president of the World Bank said that it
was Pakistan which had to decide about its economic and political
problems. "The theme of the PDF meeting was the economic
development of Pakistan which does not have anything to do with
political issues," she said.
She said that donors agreed with the government of
Pakistan that issues concerning good governance, transparency,
corruption and re-building of institutions needed to be seriously
looked into and that the donors believed that right policies were
being implemented to achieve desired results in this behalf.
Sale of Lasbella Textile Mills assets
A pre-bid conference to respond and to facilitate a
better understanding of the bidding process and respond to the queries
of the prospective bidders regarding the sale of Lasbella Textile
Mills machinery held, Karachi on Monday.
More than 7 parties attended the conference. PC
officials elaborated certain points raised by the participants.
The textile processing machinery of Lasbella
Textile Mills has been offered for sale on 'as is where is basis'
privatization commission has formally invited bids from the
prospective bidders by March 14 ,2001.
It is a project of Iran Pakistan Industries limited
situated at Uthal Balochistan, 135 kilometres from Karachi on RCD
highway. The sale is being conducted through a competitive bidding
The processing section is a part of a fully
integrated unit of 50,000 spindles, 100 looms with complete dyeing and
finishing facilities of around 80,000 meter per day, production
capacity of variable width ranging from 36 to 96 inches.
Sugar industry policy soon
Commerce Minister Abdul Razzak Dawood has said the
government is formulating a long-term term policy for sugar industry
in order to end a row between growers and millers and bring the
industry out of crisis.
He said a meeting would be held in Badin on Sunday
between growers, millers and himself, where a long-term policy would
be discussed. "We intend to make a rational policy for at least
five years so that the tussle between farmers and growers could come
to an end," he added.
Artefacts in Afghanistan
President Rafiq Tarar and the Chief Executive
General Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday told visiting Sri Lankan Prime
Minister Rathnasiri Wickaramanayaka that Pakistan made every effort in
urging Afghan government to review its decision about the destruction
of Buddha's statues.
The Sri Lankan Prime Minister stressed the
importance of preserving the remaining Buddhist artefacts in
The government has constituted an inter-ministerial
committee to re-examine a draft fertilizer policy to make it more
responsive to the needs of foreign investors and finalize arrangements
for the dedication of the Mari Gas Field to the industry.
The committee has also been asked to sort out the
issue of supply of subsidized gas to the fertilizer units and prepare
two separate packages for the existing and new plants.
Oil, gas co-operation
Ambassador of Kuwait Mansour Abdullah Ali Al-Awadhi
called on Petroleum Minister Usman Aminuddin on Tuesday and discussed
Pak-Kuwait co-operation in the oil and gas sector.
The Petroleum Minister briefed him about the
ongoing and future developmental activities in the upstream and
downstream oil & gas sectors of Pakistan.
He said, the present Government was according high
priority to the speedy promotion of this vital field of economy with a
view to cut down heavy import oil bill.
The Debt Reduction and Management Committee
proposed to the government to seek exceptional funding of eight to 10
billion dollar on highly concessional terms from the IMF and the World
Bank to help return its huge 35 billion dollar loans.
The report, which was released on Thursday by the
government, said Pakistan's public debt had reached alarming
proportions. The downward rigidity of budgetary expenditures and lack
of buoyancy in revenues have generated persistently large fiscal
deficits over the last two decades.