16 - 22, 2001
Jute industry loses $2m orders
The jute industry has surrendered around $2 million export
orders from Iran due to decrease in duty drawback rates, industry sources told.
The jute industry has been earning over $2 million foreign
exchange through exports to Iran since last year. This was achieved through a
strong competition due to low jute prices in Bangladesh.
Representatives of jute industry said that the government had
promised the industry of its fullest support to expand its market share in Iran
but instead did the other way round by decreasing the duty drawback.
They said that profit margin was very small but the industry
managed to gain in Iranian market mainly because of duty drawbacks. "The
decrease in the duty draw back has sent the mills in tailspin because it will
not be possible to export", said a jute mill owner.
He said that jute industry recently secured orders for over
$2 million but had to forego these orders due to decrease in duty drawback.
He said that not only the country will lose valuable foreign
exchange but the breakthrough achieved in the Iranian market might not be
regained in future and there would be no jute exports. The industry, he said,
had just survived a setback due to ban on Bardana by the Punjab government and
now it was again faced with a crisis.
The industry sources deplored that instead of facilitating an
export-oriented industry, the government reduced the duty drawback in the trade
policy 2001-02 announced by the commerce minister.
CDWP okays Rs830m projects
The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) on Monday
approved projects of national importance costing Rs830.52 million.
It also recommended projects costing Rs3,0471.774 million for
the approval of Ecnec.
The CDWP meeting was held under the chairmanship of Deputy
Chairman, Planning Commission Dr Shahid Amjad Choudhry and Secretary Planning
and Development Division Dr Mutawakkil Kazi.
The meeting considered projects of various sectors such as
rural development, transport and communication, mass media, environment, energy,
physical planning and health, water resources and public administration.
It approved the projects for horticultural promotion (PHP) in
the NWFP Phase-VI at a cost of Rs122.105 million; transport and communication
supply, installation and commissioning of control tower and related facilities
equipment at new terminal complex Lahore International Airport costing Rs115.693
million; development programmes of broadcasting installation of three 100 kw
medium wave transmitters at Multan, Hyderabad and Quetta costing Rs200 million.
OGRA within next two weeks: Usman
Minister for petroleum and natural resources, Usman Aminuddin
on Saturday said that Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) would be in place
within the next two weeks to regulate the prices of gas and petroleum products.
"Legislation work in this respect has been completed and
final draft is being sent to cabinet for approval", he said while
addressing a press conference after attending the oil and gas conferences held
in London, Calgary and Houston.
The minister said the already existing oil regulatory
authority would be merged into OGRA to cover the functions of down-stream oil
and gas sector. Giving details of the oil and gas conferences, Usman Aminuddin
said that a number of international companies had shown their keen interest to
make investments in Pakistan's oil and gas sector which promised wide scope and
opportunities along with the government's investor-friendly policies for foreign
Spinners, mills import 0.3m bales lint cotton
Local spinners and mills have so far imported about 0.300
million bales of lint cotton from various sources to meet any possible shortage.
A part of the imported stuff also include long staple lint
widely used to produce blended cloth and cotton yarn for the export markets,
industry sources said. But industry sources claim another 0.200 million bales
are on the way and expected to reach here before the middle of August.
"The mid-season crop uncertainty followed by rumours of
a short crop and higher local prices forced most of the spinners to opt for
imports," they added.
Swan phase-2 development accord signed
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has signed an
agreement with SW-Miano Joint Venture, led by the Austrian oil and gas company
OMV and Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL), for developing Phase-2 of the
Sawan Gas Field in Sindh.
This agreement, which governs all commercially important
aspects of the Sawan Gas Field Phase-2 development, will be followed shortly by
fully termed gas sales and gas pricing agreements.
The agreement, called Heads of Agreement for Sawan Gas Field
Phase 2, was signed by Secretary Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources
Abdullah Yousuf, Reinhart Samhaber, General Manager OMV (Pakistan), Karel Luner,
Production Director Moravske Naftove Doly, S. Munsif Raza, MD/CE of Pakistan
Petroleum Limited, Mahmood ul Hassan, Chairman/CEO of Government Holdings
(Private) Limited and Javaid Hussain, MD of SNGPL.
Premium for cotton growers
The Federal Textile Board on Friday decided to pay a premium
of Rs200 per bale for contaminated free cotton and Rs75 per bale for containing
contamination content up to 2.5 grams.
The bales of both categories should have the standard of
maximum eight per cent moisture and six per cent trash, the board decided during
its meeting which was presided over by Federal Commerce Minister Abdul Razak Dawood.
Matters regarding the packaging of cotton as well as setting
up of committees in mills to settle the disputes among growers, ginners and mill
owners were discussed in the meeting which was also attended by the federal