15 - 21, 2001
Corporate farm sector
An inter-provincial committee on Monday approved
recommendation to allow foreign investment in corporate farm sector
for purchasing and owning land and for exemption on land holding.
Any company registered under the local laws will
now have the right to hold property or land in Pakistan, the meeting,
presided over by the Federal Agriculture Minister Khair Muhammad Junejo, decided.
It was attended by the Secretary General Finance
Moin Afzal, Secretary Agriculture Dr Zafar Altaf, Chairman CBR Riaz
Hussain Naqvi, provincial agriculture secretaries, officials of the
provincial boards of revenues, commerce ministry and Board of
Two committees were also constituted to formulate
new labour laws for agriculture sector and new system of taxation for
the corporate sector. It discussed a number of issues concerning
corporate agriculture farming and incentives to attract foreign
investment in this sector.
The meeting was told that the objective of
introducing corporate farming was to boost productivity and induct new
technologies from the developed parts of the world to Pakistan.
Giving details, officials said, the new policy will
allow local or foreign private and public sector companies to lease or
own land for corporate farming.
It was also agreed that any company incorporated
under Pakistan law is a Pakistani company and will have the right to
hold property or land in Pakistan.
The official said a committee was also set up under
the chairmanship of Secretary General Finance Moin Afzal to look into
the issues of taxes on the corporate agriculture as agricultural crops
behave differently from the corporate enterprises.
WAPDA to set up 4 hydel projects in NWFP
WAPDA will set up four new hydel projects with a
cost of 1.5 billion dollars having capacity of 1,000 MW in NWFP.
According to Ministry sources, Ministry of Water
and Power has completed feasibility report of these projects. WAPDA
has agreed to set up four new hydel projects in various parts of NWFP
with a total cost of 1.5 billion dollars.
The proposed hydel projects will be Allai Khwar,
Khan Khwar, Daral Khwar and Battal Khwar.
WAPDA will start construction work by the end of
this year and complete all the four projects by 2006.
Ministry of Water and Power has also started study
work to identify sites for the construction of small dams all over the
country aimed at meeting the water requirements.
Committee set up for securing funds
The government has set up a monitoring committee to
study and assess poverty alleviation programme with a view to secure
substantial funds from the international donor agencies.
Official sources said Deputy Chairman Planning
Commission Shahid Chaudhry chaired a high-level meeting on Tuesday in
which it was decided that Director General of Pakistan Institute of
Development Economics (PIDE) Dr A R Kamal would be the head of the
The committee would be an autonomous body, which
had no official role and it would time to time give its assessment of
the poverty alleviation programme. Representatives of the major donor
agencies including World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) also attended the meeting.
Report on urea hike sought
The government has sought a report from the
industries ministry on the recent increase of Rs100 per bag in the
prices of locally produced urea.
Official sources told on Tuesday that the federal
government has also asked the ministry to explain the factors behind
glaring parity in the prices of fertilizers being sold in the four
It said, ironically, despite being produced in the
country, different kinds of fertilizers are being sold at different
rates in various parts of the country and pointed out that this
unwanted trend will badly affect the agriculture production this year.
Cotton estimates put at 9.9m bales
National Security Council member and chief
executive's advisor on agriculture Shafi Niaz has said that the
ex-farm cotton production this season is expected to be 10.4 million
bales, which would finally yield 9.9 million ginned bales, after
complete processing and excluding wastage.
The advisor said keeping in view the latest arrival
figures, released by Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA), it
could safely be estimated that the cotton would exceed official target
of 9.7m bales.
Diesel price rise to hit crops
The Agricultural Price Commission (APCom) has
disclosed that three major crops — rice, wheat and sugarcane —
will suffer the effects of recent increase in diesel prices as the
rate of only the tractor cultivation operation have increased by Rs20
Official sources told on Saturday that in its
preliminary report on the impact of diesel price increase, the APCom
has pointed out that because of the increase from Rs15.25 per litre to
Rs18.25 in diesel prices, tractor cultivation charges have immediately
jumped to Rs150 from Rs130 per acre.
Mineral resources to be explored
Pakistan has enormous potential of untapped mineral
resources and their meagre share of 0.5 per cent in GDP does not fully
reflects the actual potential.
According to official sources, the country has
economically exploitable reserves of baryte, dolomite, gypsum, rock
salt, magnesite, soap stone, silica sand, limestone, marble, onyx
marble, granite and precious-semi precious stones.
Textile industry invests $400m
Textile industry has so far invested $400 million
(about Rs2.4 billion) — more out of compulsion than desire —, for
getting itself well equipped to face the challenges which would arise
after the removal of quota restrictions in the year 2004.
The textile industry has taken up a massive $1
billion balancing, modernization and replacement (BMR) programme which
is to be completed before the close of this fiscal. A big segment of
textile industry will have an altogether new look with the
installation of new machinery and equipment.