09 - 15, 2001
Rs136bn projects for economic revival
Although poverty alleviation is the first and the foremost
duty of any government, it cannot be carried out at the cost of the fiscal
health of the state.
This was stated by President Gen Pervez Musharraf on Thursday
while distributing cheques worth Rs500 million among the Cooperatives scam
Around 1,000 victims, whose deposits were less than
Rs200,000, received 50 per cent of their dues with the promise that the rest of
the amount to be paid by the year 2003.
Highlighting some of these projects, he said there would be a
new strategy to distribute Rs5 billion out of Rs17 billion of Zakat Fund as
loans to the have-nots to help them buy small items like sewing machines, boats
for fishermen and machines which would enable people to stand on their feet
He said in the past, the poor were paid a monthly subsistence
of Rs500 each which could not end their poverty and secondly, the Zakat
Committee was lining its own pockets. It has been dissolved and a new one
For agriculture sector, water development plans like Gomal
Zam dam, Mirani dam, raising of Mangla dam level, Rainee canal for Sindh and
Thal project for the Punjab had been identified.
The information technology, Musharraf said, could bring quick
economic returns and thousands of unemployed youth in urban areas would benefit
The Khushhal Pakistan was another project to bring social and
economic changes in the country as Rs8 billion had been allocated for it.
Rehabilitation of sick industrial units was another priority
area to push the economy out of its present slumber. More than 100 sick
industrial units had already been revived and they had created more than 35,000
jobs. Now the government plans to revive six such units every month starting
from May, 2001.
Rs2bn e-govt plan approved
Federal Minister for Science and Technology Prof
Atta-ur-Rahman approved the E-government master plan on Thursday after a
detailed presentation on the project.
According to a press release the plan, which will cost about
Rs2 billion, will be completed in 12 quarters. An amount of Rs800 million will
be spent during this year.
Speaking at the occasion Prof Atta has said that the object
behind the introduction of E-government plan is to improve efficiency of
government departments and increase the level of transparency in all government
The minister informed that major components of the plan were
Citizen on line, Development of Websites for 34 federal government ministries,
electronic official gazette notification, electronic filing of tax returns,
websites showing unrepealed statutes and case laws, development of websites of
Pakistani missions abroad, electronic payment of utility bills, income tax,
sales tax and other federal and provincial taxes etc.
Three-year plan for manufacturing
The government's new "Three-year Development Programme"
projects large-scale manufacturing to grow at an annual rate of 7.2 per cent
Small-scale manufacturing is projected to grow at a rate of
5.3 per cent. The growth would be materialized through improvement in industrial
productivity, which is necessary for revitalization of growth and exports.
The construction sector is projected to grow by 4.3 per cent.
Besides normal programmes of constructing residential and non-residential
buildings, roads, streets, bridges, and tunnels, railway tracks,
telecommunication lines, power lines and gas and water, and sewerage lines,
additional impetus to growth will emanate from the construction of highways,
motorways and airports.
Ishrat says reforms to pay in 3-5 years
The State Bank Governor Dr. Ishrat Husain on Thursday made a
long speech to make people believe that the nation will get the benefit of the
current economic reforms after three to five years.
"The benefits from these reforms will not accrue until
after a lapse of about 3-5 years," he said addressing a meeting of the
English Speaking Union of Pakistan at a local hotel. "The losers (in the
process of these reforms) are visible right now but the gainers will emerge in
distant future," he remarked.
Water dispute resolved
The dispute over distribution of irrigation water between
Sindh and Punjab has been resolved after the federal government declared a
controversial 1994 decision of inter-ministerial committee as null and void. The
government had directed the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) to strictly
follow the 1991 water accord and rescind the decision of the 1994
inter-ministerial committee, an official source said.
P&G plans expansion
Procter and Gamble (Pakistan) Ltd plans to invest and expand
its business in Pakistan.
"Pakistani goods consumer market has a lot of potential
to grow in future," Hans-Peter Heissen told newsmen in a brief chat after a
presentation on: "Recipes for Success" a Procter and Gamble
Perspective" on Wednesday. The function was organized by the Marketing
Association of Pakistan (MAP).
The Asian Development Bank has declared $214m Chashma Right
Bank Irrigation project "problematic" because of procurement delays
and cost overruns.
Official sources told that the bank had included the project
in the list of less-than-satisfactory projects as it was delayed by over 33
months. The project was expected to be completed by March 1999.
Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture Khair Mohammad
Junejo has underlined the need of introducing new high-yield varieties of
sugarcane with higher sucrose content to bring consistency in its production.