May 14 -
Chinese firm to get Saindak contract
Pakistan has decided to award a lease contract for Rs16
billion Saindak Copper-Gold Project to a Chinese firm during a four-day visit of
Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji.
Cabinet sources told that a decision to this effect had been
taken by the federal cabinet on Wednesday on a summary circulated by the
petroleum ministry while the cabinet meeting was in progress.
Hectic consultations took place among the minister and
officials of the petroleum ministry, Saindak Metals Limited (SML), Geological
Survey of Pakistan (GSP), finance ministry and Foreign Office before and after
the cabinet meeting to finalize a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and its
technical details so that it could be signed in the presence of the visiting
leader. Official sources said the Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) will
pay $500,000 per month to Pakistan as lease rental for 10 years in addition to
50 per cent of the total production from the project.
The sources said in the final round, three companies, MCC of
China, and two companies from Australia M/s Holly Mining and Tethyane Mining
took part in the bidding. The bid of Tethyane was rejected on technical grounds.
The technical evaluation committee awarded 72.5 points to
Holly Mining of Australia compared with 17 points to MCC of China. The two bids
were almost identical to financial terms, the sources said. They, however,
claimed that negotiations with the two contenders resulted in improvement in the
Chinese offer and finally its offer proved better than the Australian. The
sources said that China was so keen in the project in view of future copper
prices in the international market that it also agreed to withdraw sovereign
guarantee for $500 million white oil pipeline project. A Chinese company has
already undertaken exploration activities in Daddar area with an investment of
around $80 million, the sources said.
IBRD, IMF for speedy disposal of state units
The World Bank and the IMF have asked Pakistan to undertake,
by next year, programme to streamline; restructure; corporatize and privatize
most of the public sector enterprises.
Official sources, on Thursday, said as both these donors are
not satisfied with the slow pace of restructuring and corporatization, they have
asked the government to carry out a detailed reform programme from the year
2002, in this context. The main concentration will be on improvement in
financial situation of major enterprises through market-based pricing policies,
greater efficiency, lay-offs, reduction in subsidies and cross-subsidies and
settlement of arrears.
EoIs for sale of NPCC invited
Privatization Commission of Pakistan has invited Expression
of Interests (EoIs), from prospective investors to participate in the
disinvestment process of National Power Construction Corporation (Pvt) Limited (NPCC),
through sale of shares on, as is where is basis.
The offer provides a lucrative opportunity to local and
foreign investors to own a profitable corporation operating in the public sector
with significant opportunities for expansion within and outside Pakistan.
NPCC is eligible to bid for turnkey Construction of power
transmission line up to 500KV with power utilities in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE,
Syria, Malaysia and Indonesia, where it has been participating in the
transmission line/substitution tenders in the recent past.
Japan may resume aid
Japan has indicated to resume Pakistan's increased annual
assistance from the next financial year. Diplomatic sources said that Pakistan's
400 million dollars annual Official Development Assistance (ODA) by Japan could
be increased to 500 million dollars from 2001-2002.
Moreover Japan could also consider extending additional
financial support for mitigating the effects of a severe drought the country has
been experiencing. Sources said that Japan saw assurances given to finance
minister Shaukat Aziz by US Secretary Treasury Paul O'neil last week in
Washington as positive developments for the removal of remaining international
sanctions against Pakistan.
Personnel policy of banks
The State Bank has asked all banks to formulate a clearly
defined personnel policy and send a copy of the same to the central bank for
approval by June 30, 2001.
SBP said in a circular on Tuesday that the personnel policy
duly cleared by the board of directors of the bank concerned should cover
recruitment procedure, compensation, performance evaluation, separation,
training and service rules etc.
Credit allocation raised
All commercial banks and Agriculture Development Bank (ADBP)
have been asked to increase their credit allocation for development and
production loans, to growers from Rs45 billion to Rs100 billion.
"We have asked the commercial banks and ADBP to increase
the credit limit to Rs100 billion," Federal Minister for Food and
Agriculture Khair Muhammad Junejo told. Junejo who chaired a meeting with the
provincial agriculture ministers, representatives of commercialized banks and
ADBP and other concerned officials said that the credit allocation was being
raised from the Kharif crop.
UBL to shut 350 branches
State-run United Bank Ltd has introduced the scheme as part
of a plan to close down unprofitable branches and reduce its workforce: the bank
is preparing to close down 350 of its total 1372 domestic branches this year and
350 more in 2002. And it expects to say goodbye to more than 5000 of its total
11366 employees in two years.