30 - May 06, 2001
World Bank okays two projects
The World Bank on Tuesday approved two projects for Pakistan,
a $10.08 million equivalent project on conservation and a $3 million trade and
transportation facilitation project.
The conservation project will help conserve nationally and
globally important habitats and species in three protected areas of Machiara in
Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Hingol in Balochistan, and Chitral Gol in the Frontier
It will, according to a World Bank press release,
specifically benefit the poor and women who make the most intensive use of
natural resources due to lack of other opportunities, by providing skills
training and micro-credit.
The project will seek to conserve natural habitats and arrest
the decline of species; improve the capacity of government agencies and
community institutions; improve collection of bio-diversity data; and support
environmental awareness campaigns for the general public, schoolchildren and
The second project is aimed at assisting Islamabad in
developing a more modern, efficient and competitive trade and transportation
facilitation system. It will help reduce costs for Pakistan's industry and
commerce and, in a competitive market, allow such savings to be passed on to
consumers. It will also generate additional employment and growth opportunities.
The project will help develop and support the first phase of
Pakistan's medium-term trade and transport facilitation programme, and support
permanent institutional arrangements for modern trade and transport facilitation
It will also help strengthen and streamline trade
legislation, procedures and documentation; and it will modernize transport
legislation and strengthen human resource development.
The project is expected to assist with preparation of a
detailed time-bound action programme for further measures to be carried out by
trained staff put in place during the project.
Support to gas pipeline assured
Pakistan and Iran agreed on Wednesday that trans-Pakistan
route was the only feasible option for Iran-India gas pipeline project.
Petroleum Minister Usman Aminuddin told that Iran considered land-route for the
gas pipeline as the only feasible option. "We have once again assured them
(Iran) that Pakistan is ready to provide any support to remove Indian security
concerns but we should know what these security concerns are in the first
place," said the minister.
"Why there should be security concerns when the project
is in the economic interest of all the three nations," said the minister.
However, he said Pakistan did not need to get gas from the pipeline but would
support Iran to take the pipeline to India.
The minister led a team of Pakistani experts that held an
hour-long meeting with the visiting Iranian delegation led by secretary of the
Iran's Supreme National Security Council and National Security Adviser to the
President, Hojjatoleslam Dr Hassan Rouhani.
OGDC plans drilling of 8 oil wells
The Oil and Gas Development Corporation has outlined
large-scale exploration activities during the next six months with a plan to
drill at least eight oil and gas wells, official sources said on Saturday.
"All the Company's resources will be utilized to their
optimum capabilities for the planned large-scale oil and gas exploration and
drilling activities in the coming six months," said the sources.
After a detailed analysis of the exploration activities in
the past, the Company has decided to initiate drilling only after the technical
feasibility studies is undertaken and the survey data thoroughly processed, said
the officials. The underling objective of this cautious approach is to ensure
that a "very calculated risk is taken when physical drilling operations are
commenced," they added.
The government is giving highest priority to information
technology to put the country on the road to progress. "And result has
started to bear fruit," said Sindh Governor Mohammedmian Soomro while
speaking as the chief guest at the formal launch of Ufone mobile service of the
PTCL at a ceremony held at the Governor's House on Thursday.
The Board of Investment has asked the Federation of Pakistan
Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the two chambers at Karachi and Lahore to
organize visit and meeting of a 10-member Chinese delegation , currently in
Pakistan, to some model farms.
In a communication to the apex trade body and the two
chambers, the BoI has informed that the Chinese team which represent four
agricultural corporations is interested in setting up vegetable farms
particularly chillies, hybrid rice and wheat.
Pakistan, Cyprus plan shipping project
Pakistan has expressed its desire to promote co-operation in
various economic sectors with Cyprus, specially in shipping sector. Both the
countries may plan joint shipping projects in near future.
This was expressed by the federal minister for communication
and railways Lt-Gen (rtd) Javed Ashraf Qazi, during a meeting at ministry of
communication on Tuesday with the ambassador of Cyprus based in China, Madam
Doria Markides, who is also ambassador for Pakistan.
The sugar technologists have warned the government to desist
from taking hasty decision of shifting cultivation of sugarcane to sugar beet in
Sindh, as according to one, "this decision may prove counter-productive
both for the industry and as well as for the growers."
Sindh Minister for Industries and Production Dewan Yousuf
Farooqui has suggested the cement industry to consider use of coal, instead of
oil, as fuel.
"It would reduce the production cost by Rs500-600 per
ton and the cement industry will be delinked from rising fuel oil prices
forever," Dewan said while addressing a seminar on "coal as a fuel for
cement and other process industries".