July 30 - August 05 , 2001
ADBP focuses on tea, palm oil cultivation
Federal Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz was informed
on Wednesday that Rs4 billion would be additionally needed to finance
ADBP's new initiatives focusing on palm oil cultivation in the coastal
belt of Sindh, extracting olive oil and cultivating tea in the
These enterprises are to be pursued in close
consultation with Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) and the
provincial governments, the ADBP management told the minister at a
marathon session here. On the recovery front, the minister was briefed
that despite a bad agricultural year, the bank posted a surge in
recovery of its dues to 64.1 per cent in FY 2001 from 61.9 per cent
recorded the previous year.
Moreover, the growth in non-performing loans has
been significantly arrested. The minister appreciated these efforts
and endorsed the idea of introducing special packages for the recovery
of stuck-up loans.
Shaukat Aziz said the ADBP had a gross roots setup
and should emerge as a major input-provider in the policy formulation
to the government. He said that lending schemes and incentives offered
to the agriculture sector need to be properly publicized through the
electronic media for the larger benefit of the farming community.
Mr Aziz said the bank's talent pool must be
properly channelled and persons opposing the change be properly
handled. He also emphasized the need for immediate portfolio audit of
bank's operations, financial restructuring and IT plans. He assured
full support of the government in strengthening the ADBP financially,
technically and administratively.
The chairman ADBP, Mr Istaqbal Mehdi assured the
minister that all efforts would be made to improve the business and
strengthen the bank's role by providing better service to the farming
community through introducing discipline in all spheres of bank's
activities including timely implementation of credit plan, control
over non-performing loans and financial restructuring etc.
21 EoIs received for 26% govt shares
The Privatization Commission has received 21
expressions of interest (EoIs) from world's strategic investors for
pre-qualification to participate in the privatization of United Bank
Limited (UBL), an official announcement said.
The government plans to sell a minimum stake of 26
per cent of the government share-holding to a quality strategic
investor and transfer management control. UBL is one of Pakistan's
three leading commercial banks, having a countrywide and international
branch network. UBL has a full service licence covering commercial,
retail banking, consumer and investment banking activities in Pakistan
and most of the other countries where it is present.
China agrees to sign agreement
The Chinese government has formally given its
consent to help Pakistan in constructing $250 million phase-I Gwadar
project. "We received the intimation on July 24 from the Chinese
government, inviting us to sign the agreement", said
Communication Minister Javed Ashraf Qazi on Tuesday.
He said that Chinese government has in principle
agreed to funding of the project. Some of the funding will be made in
shape of grant and some as loan.
The Chinese government has invited Finance and
Communication ministers for signing the agreement. Both are likely to
visit China in first week of August. Javed said the first-phase of
Gwadar will be built within a period of two to three weeks, having all
essential facilities. Initially it will have three berths.
PSO chief shot dead
The managing director of the Pakistan State Oil,
Shaukat Raza Mirza, and his driver were shot dead by two masked
assailants in Clifton locality at about 8.45am on Thursday.
Shaukat Mirza, 62, was on his way to the PSO House
in his BMW (ABP-818) from his Kehkashan residence when the attackers,
riding a motorcycle, intercepted the car at the Chaudhry Khaliquzzaman
Road-Chartered Accountant Avenue intersection and opened fire on him.
Moinuddin passes away
The chief of bomb disposal squad, Moinuddin, died
of a heart attack on Thursday. He was 72. Moinuddin, who had retired
from active service from Civil Defence 12 years ago, had not retired
from his job until he breathed his last.
Saudi Arabia offers $250m aid
Saudi Arabia has agreed to finance various
development projects worth $250 million in Pakistan on the fast track
basis. A delegation of Saudi Fund for Development headed by Engineer
Yousef I. Al-Bassam met Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz on Tuesday and
informed him that his country had agreed to extend $250 million to
Pakistan for development projects.
The finance minister urged the delegation to help
the Pakistan government in its resolve to improve the economy.
Welcoming the Fund's continued support, the minister underlined the
need for fast disbursement of funds for economic development and
A Saudi delegation has arrived in the country to
explore investment opportunities, Federal Finance Minister Shaukat
Aziz told newsmen on Monday. The minister said investors' confidence
was being restored and a marked improvement would be visible soon.
US power firm may pack up
A Washington-based power company, pursuing two
projects involving $1.5 billion investment, may wind up its operations
following discouraging signals from WAPDA about its future, Board of
Investment (BOI) sources told.
In a last-ditch effort to save its initial investment and future
operations, the company has brought the whole issue to the knowledge
of President Pervez Musharraf, the finance minister, and secretaries
of water and power and BOI, they said.