June 18 -
Petrol prices up by 14.5%
The government on Wednesday increased petroleum prices by 9.4
per cent to 14.5pc with immediate effect and authorized Oil Marketing Companies
(OMCs) to adjust these prices on a fortnightly basis from July 1.
Petroleum Secretary M. Abdullah Yousaf said the revision had
been approved by the cabinet at its meeting held and added that it was the last
time the government was announcing the petroleum prices. Referring to the
deregulation of prices, he said it was a "big step" towards
deregulation of the petroleum sector. The cabinet decision involved four
aspects: increase in petroleum prices, authorization of the OMCs to fix future
prices, change in internal freight equalization margin to link local refinery
prices to those fixed by the OMCs, and replacement of petroleum development
surcharge with a petroleum levy on the product basis.
The secretary said that in addition to the product-wise
fluctuation in international prices, the government had taken into account
3.84pc devaluation of currency during the March-May quarter to fix the new
The new prices would be applicable to 29 depots in various
parts of the country, and consumers would be charged after adding the
transportation cost (from the depot to the retail outlet) to the prices, ranging
from 6 paisa per litre to Rs1.90 per litre. The OMCs that were already importing
and marketing oil products would adjust the prices in future according to
international market fluctuation, said the secretary, adding that the depot
prices would remain uniform as all the five OMCs would jointly fix the prices.
He did not agree with the suggestion that the consumers had
been left at the mercy of the OMCs to set prices of their choice, saying major
components of the oil prices had already been fixed by the government and would
SBP raises T-bills yield
The State Bank on Wednesday raised the cut-off yield on
treasury bills of different tenures by 74-87 basis points to reinforce an
earlier signal of tightening the monetary policy. Earlier on June 6, SBP had
enhanced its discount rate by one per cent to 14 per cent.
This tightening of monetary policy is aimed at defending the
declining rupee by making speculative dollar holding too expensive for banks and
their clients. SBP has raised the cut-off yield on three-month and six-month
T-bills by 86 and 87 basis points to 12.10 and 12.46 per cent respectively.
And it enhanced the cut-off yield of one-year T-bills by 74
basis points to 12.74 per cent at fortnightly auction of the bills held on
The central bank sucked in Rs 10.9 billion by selling
treasury bills of different tenures in a fairly liquid money market against the
target of Rs 12 billion. Bankers said the central bank had to raise the T-bills
yield in its effort to meet the pre-auction target.
Gold price plunges to Rs 5,765
Gold price plunged to Rs5,765 on Tuesday from Rs5,847 on June
9 shedding Rs82 per 10 grams. A spokesman of Karachi Saraf and Jewellers Group (KSJG)
attributed the fall to the downward trend in global gold prices , which is now
being quoted at $270 per ounce after touching at $274 on Saturday.
Bullion dealers said that the price of ten tola bar also fell
by Rs800 to Rs67,400 on Tuesday from Rs68,200 on Saturday. "Gold price will
continue to fluctuate till the international prices settle down," a bullion
dealer said. Imports of around 10,000 tola per day mainly by three to four
parties have been suspended since May 21 and the market is currently relying on
the local stocks, which, according to bullion dealers, are quite enough to cater
to the temporary demand in the wake of marriage season after Rabi-ul-Awwal.
SBP gets $350mn
The State Bank of Pakistan on Thursday received $350 million
disbursed by the World Bank as Structural Adjustment Credit (SAC). "Yes,
the amount of $350 million has been disbursed to us today by the World
Bank," confirmed the SBP Governor Dr Ishrat Hussain.
The rupee on Thursday remained firm in inter-bank market
despite a $13 million outward remittance by a single foreign bank. Bankers said
the rupee closed 62.90/63.00 to a dollar showing almost no change overnight but
up 20 paisa from the Tuesday close of 63.10/63.20.
On Monday (June 11) Balochistan Glass Limited told the
Karachi Stock Exchange that the Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan
(SECP) had given its approval to double the company's paid-up capital from Rs55
to Rs110 million, through the issue of fresh equity to the foreign shareholders.
The company proposes to issue eleven million new shares at face value of Rs5 per
share to foreign shareholders, without the issue of right shares to existing
shareholders of the company.
Pakistan Tobacco Company Limited (PTC) has reported a
post-tax loss of Rs885 million during the year ended December 31, 2000.
"For each of the last six years the company has been losing money with
accumulated losses for this period at Rs1.7 billion.
$60 million for SAP
The World Bank has decided to extend 60 million dollars to
Pakistan for the Social Action Programme (SAP-II). "I am pleased to inform
that the International Development Agency (IDA) is in a position to disburse on
the SAP-II as all outstanding financial management issues have been resolved to
enable the disbursement to proceed.
We will immediately process disbursements for the withdrawal applications
that have been submitted to us", says Abid Hasan, Acting Country Director
of the World Bank for Pakistan and Afghanistan.