23 - 29, 2001
Wheat procurement ADB offers $250m loan
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has pledged $250 million
loan to Pakistan for the development of infrastructure for marketing,
procurement, storage, distribution and export of wheat.
The assurance was given at a meeting between Finance Minister
Shaukat Aziz and the bank authorities on Thursday. The meeting, chaired by the
finance minister, also reviewed the ADB's Agriculture Program Loan.
Sources said that the finance minister told the meeting that
the role of the middleman will be eliminated in procurement of wheat. In this
behalf the representatives of the Sindh, NWFP and Balochistan expressed their
concern over Punjab's monopolistic role because of being self-sufficient in
The three provinces, which are facing wheat shortage, called
for an effective role of the federal government to resolve wheat related issues
among the provinces.
The minister for finance when contacted told that a new
strategy was being evolved to develop an adequate infrastructure for the
marketing of wheat. He said the new system would help save wheat from going
rotton. He said the strategy is also aimed at ensuring free market economy to
deal with wheat related issues.
Responding to a question, he said that the ADB's new loan
would enhance wheat production and help improve its marketing and procurement
processes. "The purpose is also to give right wheat procurement price to
the farmers," he said adding that the interests of the farmers will be
There was a general agreement on the ADB programme loan.
However, some provinces expressed concern over some of the proposed policy
changes with a view to safeguarding the interests of the farmers as well as the
Area under cotton up by 11.3pc
Federal Agriculture and Food Minister Khair Mohammad Junejo
said on Saturday that area under cotton cultivation has increased by 11.37 per
cent to 2.851 million hectares despite water shortage in the country.
He was speaking at 69th general body meeting of Pakistan
Central Cotton Committee (PCCC). He said that according to recent reports the
cotton was sown over an area of 2.455 million hectares which is 21.5 per cent
higher than the target of 2.020 million hectares.
In Sindh, cotton was sown over 367,000 hectares and in
Balochistan on 29,000 hectares against the target of 500,000 hectares and 40,000
hectares respectively, he said.
He was of the view that if nature remained in favour, the
country can harvest a reasonable crop this year as well.
Irsa to take up rescinding of water accord
Indus River System Authority (Irsa) will take up a recent
directive of the federal government rescinding controversial 1994 decision of an
inter-ministerial committee at its meeting on Tuesday.
The directive of the federal government issued after a great
deal of haggling between Punjab and Sindh has already been rejected by the
Punjab government in its official reaction submitted to the
Irsa last week had reportedly reiterated its position with regard to 1994
decision of an inter-ministerial committee.
It had maintained that the 1994 decision of an
inter-ministerial committee was irrevocable as it had later been ratified by Irsa.
Again quoting clause 14(B) of the Irsa act, the provincial
government insisted that any decision taken by Irsa cannot be revoked even by
the authority itself. It said that the matter could only be taken up at the
Council of Common Interest by the aggrieved party.
Soomro for increasing per acre yield
The Sindh governor Mohammedmian Soomro on Tuesday called upon
growers, millers and technologists to put their act together for making sugar
production cost effective.
Speaking as chief guest at one-day workshop on 'Agriculture'
organized by Pakistan Society of Sugar Technologists, the governor said without
making commodities cost effective they could not be exported to the world
He asked the growers, millers and sugar technologists to make
joint efforts to increase per acre yield of sugarcane and introduce such
technologies which could assist in making farm produce cost effective.
The governor, who later inaugurated the workshop, said it is
high time that such measures are adopted which could make sugarcane cultivation
possible even when there was shortage of water.
'Deregulation brings stability'
With total deregulation of trade and removal of all
government controls on five substantive segments of the national economy —
textiles, leather, rice, sugarcane and wheat — in last 20 months or so,
Federal Commerce Minister Abdul Razak Dawood claimed on Monday of stabilization
of the country's economic structure.
"Give three or four years more, this stabilization will
consolidate into a firm economic structure," the Commerce Minister told
journalists at an informal briefing at the PIDC committee room. The Chairman of
Board of Investment Wasim Haqqie was with the minister as a silent companion.
Restructuring plan for SHYDO okayed
The NWFP government has approved the plan of restructuring
the public sector Sarhad Hydel Development Organization (SHYDO) making it a
corporate entity, according to sources.
To pave the way for SHYDO's corporatization by lowering
burden on it, the 12 public sector small hydel power generation stations, owned
by SHYDO in different parts of the province, would be disposed of and staff
would be retrenched as part of SHYDO's restructuring — originally perceived by
the last provincial government.