Apr 23 -
Rescheduling of loans essential for uplift
The chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, on Thursday
indicated that Pakistan would soon be approaching the World Bank to seek
rescheduling of its outstanding loans to get some "breathing space"
for at least three years, and spare funds for development.
He believed that in three to four years, Pakistan would be
able to beat its debt servicing liability and get out of the debt trap.
The CE said this while inaugurating the National University
of Computer and Emerging Sciences, set up by the Foundation for Advancement of
Science and Technology (FAST).
Pakistan at present, said Gen Musharraf, was at the
crossroads of its history and destiny as all resources were consumed by
debt-servicing and defence, leaving little for development. No development
project, he stated, could be launched without getting more foreign loans and
more loans meant adding to the already huge debt burden.
Describing it as a catch-22 situation, the CE said the
solution lay in economic revival that would be possible only with augmented
emphasis on the promotion of information technology and agriculture.
He said that though the rulers in the past 12 years had
increased the loan liabilities by some $24 billion, the amount was not invested
in sectors which could put the country on way to progress. Had the previous
governments utilized the money on right projects, Pakistan would not have been
caught in the debt trap as it was finding itself now.
The approach about foreign loans, Gen Musharraf said, needed
a change to rid the country of the burden of loans and initiate development
The CE said that at present Pakistan was earning about $30
million from the Information Technology and the government was determined to
increase the earning target by 3,500 per cent.
Co-operation with Iraq in oil sector discussed
Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Usman
Aminuddin, has said that Pakistan-Iraq co-operation in oil and gas sector will
further enhance the existing bonds of brotherhood and fraternity between the two
Muslim countries for mutual benefit.
The minister was talking to a seven-member team of Iraqi
petroleum engineers which called on him on Wednesday. The Iraqi team arrived
this morning for an 8-week training in various petroleum fields.
Welcoming the team the minister said that Pakistan would be
providing training to the Iraqi engineers in pursuance of the memorandum of
understanding (MoU) signed during his visit to Iraq in July last year. The
training would be given in different disciplines of petroleum sector, including
reservoir management, refining, pipelines, gas fields technologies, well-logging
ADB to provide $200mn drought assistance
The Asian Development Bank is considering assistance of over
$200 million for Pakistan in the wake of recent drought. "We have sympathy
with the government of Pakistan and are holding consultations in this
respect," the bank's senior economic advisor, Naved Hamid, told newsmen at
a press briefing on Thursday.
In this regard, he said, an ADB mission would arrive in two
weeks to hold talks. Naved Hamid said the assistance would include around $120
million from the bank's resource in Pakistan and around $90 million to be
reallocated under the Social Action Programme for health and education
SECP blamed for turmoil in insurance sector
Turmoil grips the more than Rs10 billion annual general
insurance business in the country in which countless number of bogus companies
have emerged. Automobile leasing has, also forced the big and established
companies to join the race of cut-throat competition and bring down tariff rates
to unbelievably low levels.
Insurance operators blame the Security and Exchange
Commission of Pakistan (SECP) for the anarchy that prevails in this business.
The SECP has been assigned the role of insurance business Regulator under the
new Insurance Ordinance 2000, promulgated in August 2000.
NWFP to dispose of surplus land
The NWFP cabinet has decided to dispose of surplus state
lands owned by all the departments of the provincial government. Sources told
that the cabinet, which met on Wednesday with the provincial governor, Syed
Iftikhar Hussain Shah in the chair, asked for conducting a survey for
determining the future requirements of all the departments and for the purpose
of welfare projects.
Oil ministry appoints consultant
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has appointed
a legal consultant for finalizing the Implementation Agreement of the White Oil
Pipeline Line Project.
An official announcement said that the Ministry of Petroleum
& Natural Resources and its consultant were making best efforts for
finalizing the agreement in consultation with PARCO and legal advisors as soon
Spearheading the financial restructuring of its associated
company, Crescent Textile Mills proposes to make new investments and swap short
term advances for long term loans all of which would aggregate to an investment
of well over Rs1 billion in the associated company.
PCB starts repaying depositors
Prudential Commercial Bank on Tuesday gave a go-ahead to its
depositors to withdraw money from their accounts if the balance is Rs100,000 or
less than that. But confusion persisted, as the branches were not clear on how
much withdrawal should be allowed in the first phase. The State Bank on Monday
had eased off the 180 day moratorium placed on the bank on March 19 and allowed
PCB to restore operations in all deposit accounts having balances up to
Rs100,000 in two phases.
All the three stock exchanges of Pakistan will introduce the
T+3 system of clearance and settlement of sale/purchase of stock shares on April
30, according to a reliable source.