03 - 09 , 2001
Investors offered 10pc discount on gas feed price
The new Fertilizer Policy offers a 10 per cent
discount on gas feed price prevailing in the Middle East to the
investors who set up new fertilizer plants or invest in expanding
production capacities in existing plants in Pakistan, Federal Commerce
Minister Abdul Razak Dawood announced on Thursday.
Unfolding a new Fertilizer Policy at the Committee
Room of the Export Promotion Bureau, the minister also announced a
five-year subsidy reduction programme (from July 2001 to July 2006) on
gas feed prices.
Under this gradual subsidy reduction programme, the
prices of gas feed will be increased by 5 per cent next July and then
2.5 per cent increase will be made every single year for next four
consecutive years till July 2006.
He explained that the 10 per cent discount on gas
feed price will be offered to those investors who set up new plants
and also to those who take up expansion, balancing, modernization and
replacement or de-bottlenecking of an existing plant resulting in
increase in the production capacity.
A period of four years has been stipulated for
availing this concessional gas feed price for the new investors who
will have to sign gas supply agreements within this four years period.
This price will include all taxes, duties, levies,
fees and charges whatsoever, whether local, federal or provincial, he
said. However, GST or similar duty may be imposed on such determined
price provided it is adjusted against GST payable on the fertilizer
For billing purposes, the price fixed in dollars
will be calculated in rupees at the average interbank rate. The
average interbank rate shall be fixed twice in a year on January 1 and
July 1—based on average of previous six months daily interbank rate.
IMF wants Pakistan to bridge fiscal gap
Pakistan will have to submit a set of new
adjustment measures to bridge fiscal gap before the executive board of
the International Monetary Fund, which meets in Washington next month.
Sources in donor agencies told that these measures
should include some revenue adjustments besides steps to contain
expenditures to enable the IMF to release last tranche of about $133
million of the Standby Arrangement (SBA).
Without quantifying the fiscal gap, these sources
said that Pakistani authorities would submit this adjustment strategy
to the IMF before the executive board meeting.
Based on these measures, the IMF managing director
would recommend the executive board to complete the final review under
the ongoing SBA and facilitate talks on larger financing assistance of
Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility.
Oil and gas exploration
Federal Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider has said
the government was ready to hold negotiations with concerned people on
the issue of exploration of oil and gas in Balochistan.
Speaking at a press conference soon after presiding
over the fifth inter-provincial committee meeting on law and order on
Monday, he said the government was ready to hold talks on oil and gas
exploration, development of the province and extending facilities to
masses in Balochistan."
To a question, he said that the government had
initiated dialogues with the tribal elders of Balochistan on the issue
of oil and gas exploration, which had yielded positive results and the
government wanted to continue this process.
President Habib Bank Limited (HBL), Zakir Mahmood
has ruled out any further closure of branches in future.
"We have already closed down 231 branches all
over Pakistan till June this year and we have no plans for further
shut down," he told newsmen at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce
and Industry (KCCI) on Monday.
Farooq Textile seeks delisting
Farooq Habib Textile Mills Limited, announced on
Monday, that the company intends to seek stock market delisting.
In an application made to the Karachi Stock
Exchange, through chartered accountants Sarwar Awan & Co., the
company said that it had suffered heavy losses in the preceding years
and "directors feel unjustified to deprive shareholders from the
return on their investment in the foreseeable future."
Bank Alfalah launched its rupee travellers cheques
in the NWFP at a ceremony attended by local businessmen, traders and
industrialists on Saturday. Speaking on the occasion, chief executive
office of the bank Mohammed Saleem Akhtar, claimed that the Bank
Alfalah travellers cheques were unique and distinctive for the bank to
have introduced denominations of Rs200,000 and Rs500,000 — the
highest in Pakistan.
Banking courts get more powers
President Pervez Musharraf on Thursday promulgated
an ordinance under which the banking courts would have the
jurisdiction to decide suits involving recovery of loans defaulted,
written off, released or adjusted on political reasons other than the
bona fide business consideration.
The new law called Financial Institutions (Recovery
of Finances) Ordinance, 2001, has repealed Banking Companies (Recovery
of Loans, Advances, Credits and Finances) Act, 1997.
The ordinance was promulgated with the aim to
strengthen banking loans recovery mechanism as required for getting
banking sector restructuring and privatization loan.
ECC approves dry port at Sust
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on
Wednesday approved the establishment of dry port at Sust in view of
the increasing international trade through the Karakoram Highway.
Sino Trans Group — a state owned enterprise of
China — has shown interest in undertaking the project in
collaboration with the Silk Route Dry Port Trust. It will provide
speedy facility for trade between Pakistan and China.