Sep 10 - 16, 2001
Depositors allowed to draw Rs250,000 from NDFC
The State Bank has allowed all individual
depositors of National Development Finance Corporation to withdraw
from their accounts a maximum principal amount of Rs250,000 or the
balance — whichever is lower.
The State Bank said in a press release that this
amount would be in addition to the profit accrued on NDFC accounts up
to Aug 27.
The decision, which would take immediate effect,
was taken at a meeting held at the State Bank and chaired by Governor
Dr Ishrat Husain in which NDFC Chairman Badaruddin Khan and senior SBP
officials were also present.
Earlier, the SBP had allowed small NDFC depositors
having up to Rs100,000 in their accounts to withdraw the principal
amount from Sept 5.
"With today's decision, 28,000 out of a total
of over 39,000 individual depositors will fully recover their entire
deposits with the NDFC," says the SBP press release. The
remaining 11,000 depositors would also be allowed to withdraw
Rs250,000 from the outstanding balances in their accounts. "They
would be able to draw another Rs250,000 from the 3rd week of next
The release also quoted Dr Ishrat Husain as saying
in a PTV interview that the decision to merge the NDFC with NBP had
been taken in the larger interest of the country and the depositors.
He said, "we are committed to strengthening
the financial sector in the country. For this, we have to take some
hard decisions to weed out the weaker and unviable institutions so
that the depositors' money remains safe and secure in the hands of
strong banks and institutions."
He said that the defaulters and the corrupt
officials of the NDFC would be taken to task. However, he said all the
other staff of NDFC would be offered a Golden Handshake Scheme on very
Chinese cos keen on coal-fired plants
At least four Chinese companies have expressed
interest in coal-fired power projects in the province of Sindh, said
director general of Sindh Coal Authority (SCA), Ahmeduddin Hanjrah .
Addressing a news conference on Tuesday, he
identified the Chinese companies as Shenhua Group Corporation of
China, China National Machinery Import & Export Corporation,
Jiangsu Mining & Engineering Corporation and Beijing Coal Design
& Research Institute.
He said these companies are currently carrying out
their feasibility studies.
Provinces give consent to offer
All the provinces have agreed, in principle, that
the Asian Development Bank's offer for a $130 million soft loan to
bring about judicial reforms should be accepted.
Federal law ministry officials told that an ADB
appraisal mission had met the four governors and they had, in
principle, agreed that the loan should be accepted. The provinces,
however, have not communicated, in writing, to the federal government
about their consent to the offer.
The federal government had sought a written
commitment from the provinces, for ultimately it would be the
responsibility of the provinces to repay the loan.
Sources said that after the opposition of all the
high courts that the office of the proposed 'judicial ombudsman'
should not be created, the ADB had decided that the appointment of
'administrative judge' would serve the purpose.
National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra)
on Wednesday served cancellation of generation licence notice on Maple
Leaf Electric Power Company, it is reliably learnt.
The 14-day notice was issued by Nepra in view of
documentary evidence furnished by WAPDA against Maple Leaf for
allegedly concealing information from the authority while seeking
Alcatel offer slowest bid
The board of directors of Pakistan Telecom Mobile
Limited (PTML) has opened bids for the second phase of its mobile
service expansion which put Alcatel of France as the lowest bidder,
official sources told on Thursday.
Opened in the presence of four National
Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials, Alcatel quoted a bid price of
about $73 million (comprising $55 million and Rs1.2 billion) against
$130 million of Nortel Networks of Canada (including $105 million and
Pakistan has offered US$130m to Russia for
launching a spy satellite capable of "keeping an eye on India and
other neighbouring countries," a paper reported. The preparations
are nearing completion for the launch of 'BADR-B' aboard Russian Zenit
JP Morgan closes business
JP Morgan confirmed on Tuesday that it was closing
down the equity broking business in Pakistan, ending weeks of
speculation at the market. But stock brokers argued that the closure
of yet another foreign brokerage house was not negative for the
market, because unlike in the case of termination of a foreign fund,
the investor profile in this case remains unchanged.
Regional gas pipeline options
Pakistan has decided to formally launch an
independent Interstate Gas Company Limited (IGCL) with a full-time
chief executive and other professionals to actively pursue regional
pipeline options for gas imports.
Official sources told that the company has already
been registered under the Companies Ordinance of 1984 and the
government was in the process of inducting a full-time managing
director and his team from the private sector.
SBP deputy governor
The federal government has appointed Tawfiq A
Hussain as deputy governor, State Bank of Pakistan, for a three-year
term with effect from September 20 vice Mukhtar Nabi Qureshi, says a
notification issued by the finance division.
Revenue target cut
Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz on Thursday confirmed
a Rs13.7 billion reduction in the current year's revenue target and
hinted at fresh adjustments to maintain the budget deficit at 4.9 per
cent of the GDP.