Aug 13 - 19 , 2001
$372 million ADB loan soon
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to
offer $372.4 million this year for undertaking four development
projects. Sources in the ADB said on Thursday the bank would extend
$150 million loan for Agriculture Development Programme. The
processing of the loan was currently being finalized.
"The loan is likely to be approved by our
Board by November/December this year," a source said. He said
Legal and Judicial Reform Loan has been renamed as Access to Justice
Programme Loan and its size was likely to be increased from $150
million to $200 million.
The appraisal of the loan has begun and would be
finalized next week during discussions with the Pakistani officials.
The sources said the bank would extend $21 million for NWFP's Urban
Development Project. This would also be finalized this month for which
talks were in an advanced stage.
The ADB is to offer a grant of $1.4 million for
fiscal decentralization to help the district governments. Some of the
details have been discussed and finalized between the ADB and the
National Reconstruction Bureau. However, while the ADB had previously
agreed to extend $150 million for the restructuring of Karachi
Electricity Supply Corporation (KESC), it has expressed concern over
its more than 30 per cent line losses. These losses, the bank
believes, had not been controlled and that the matter needed urgent
attention of the government.
The bank is of the view that a continuous drainage
from the budget to KESC would be a significant burden for the economy.
"It will deepen the budget deficit and divert public funds from
more productive sectors in the economy with subsequent adverse impact
on poverty. Continuous public investment in KESC nourishes corruption,
adversely affecting the most vulnerable groups of consumers.
$459m debt repayment accords signed
Pakistan has concluded debt rescheduling accords
worth $459 million with eleven donor countries. The rescheduling
treaties with the rest of the seven donor states are due to be inked
by the deadline (Aug 31), official sources told APP here Tuesday.
The pacts with donor states, which are in the
pipeline, include USA - $392 million, Japan - $598 million, South
Korea - $166 million, Switzerland $18 million, the Netherlands - $17
million, Sweden - $40 million, Belgium (Non-ODA) - $8 million and
Russia - 17 million. The debt agreements inked with eleven donor
states include Norway, Denmark, Finland, Germany, France, Italy,
Belgium (ODA), Spain, UK, Canada and Austria.
Pakistan will also sign rescheduling accords worth
$23 million with non-Paris Club members including Czech Republic, UAE,
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Libya, completing the whole rescheduling
process of $1.8 billion before September 2001, the sources added.-APP
Rupee up 20 paisa in inter-bank market
The rupee on Thursday gained 20 paisa against the
US dollar in inter-bank market chiefly due to larger than normal
inflow of export proceeds. Bankers said the rupee closed at
64.00/64.10 to a dollar up 20 paisa from the previous close of
64.20/64.30. They said the rupee gained strength on an additional
inflow of more than $10 million mostly through export proceeds.
Khushhali Bank, the first micro credit bank of
Pakistan, after successful completion of pilot operations in four
districts, is all set to open branches in 30 districts across the
NIT to launch 3 new products
National Investment Trust (NIT), which had
outperforme the capital market by a margin of 18 per cent and four per
cent during the year 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 respectively, is actively
working to introduce three new products in near future to attract
potential local and foreign investors.
SBP further lowers T-bill yields
The State Bank on Wednesday lowered the yields on
treasury bills of different tenures by 16-28 basis points to siphon
off Rs8.4 billion from inter-bank money market against a target of
Rs1.7 billion only.
The SBP said it sold Rs8.8 billion worth of bills
at discounted rates, mopping up Rs8.4 billion from a liquid inter-bank
money market. It said the auction of T-bills had attracted total bids
worth Rs23.7 billion of which it accepted Rs8.8 billion bids and
scrapped the remainder.
Merger, winding up
The government has decided to reduce the number of
Development Financial Institutions (DFIs) from 17 to 3 only, through
their mergers and, in some cases, by altogether disbanding them.
Official sources said on Tuesday that poor
performance of most of the DFIs has forced the authorities to either
disband them or manage their mergers, preferably before the end of
2001. The World Bank was expected to extend $250 million loan for
restructuring the NCBs and the DFIs.
$2bn power investment plan hits snags
Reluctance on the part of the government to prepare
a model Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) has become a major bottleneck
in the $2 billion investment plan by a Swedish company to set up a
wind-powered electricity generation project, Dawn reliably learnt.
Interestingly, the WAPDA Chairman, Lt-Gen Zulfiqar
Ali Khan, has already issued a letter of intent to Milergo AB of
Sweden and M/s Golden Valley Company for setting up two wind energy
stations to produce 20MW of electricity, a source said.
Rs65.74bn recovered by NAB
A total of 142 people, including politicians,
bureaucrats and businessmen, were convicted by the national
accountability courts by Aug 1, 2001, official sources said on Sunday.
The National Accountability Bureau also recovered a
total of Rs 65.74 billion by this period in the form of bank loans,
plea bargains, court fines and through improvement in financial
affairs in the public sector.