Oct 29 - Nov 04, 2001
Sold off units not doing well
The privatized manufacturing units in Pakistan have failed to
improve profitability. This is indicated by a financial analysis of the
balance-sheet and income statements of 17 out of 35 companies privatized in
1991-92 and listed at the stock exchange. These units account for 80 per cent of
the paid-up capital of the firms disinvested at that point of time.
The period covered is from 1983 to 2000, and the performance
has been evaluated on the basis of average ratios before privatization for the
period 1983-91 and post-privatization period from 1992 to 2000.
Most of the units, which were earning profits at the time of
privatization, have incurred losses, says a research study by Abdul Samad of the
College of Business Management, Karachi.
The sectors covered are engineering, cement, ghee and oil,
automobile, chemicals and artificial fibres. The 17 companies whose performance
has been reviewed, are: Metropolitan Steel, Zeal Pak Cement, Maple Leaf Cement,
Gharibwal Cement, DG Khan Cement, Dandot Cement, National Motors, Millat
Tractors, Pak- Suzuki Motors, Bolan Castings, Balochistan Wheels, Sindh Alkalis,
National Fibres, Wazir Ali Industries, Associated Industries, Kakakhel
Industries and Fazal Ghee.
No such study of the impact of privatization on units sold
off, has either been carried by the government or the Privatization Commission.
The privatized manufacturing units have lost billions of
rupees in bad debts and GHS payments, says the CBM study.
Without questioning the conclusions reached on the basis of
balance-sheet and income statements of the companies, it may be pointed out,
managers of public sector units have tended to show profits through
window-dressing of the balance-sheet for obvious reasons. The government of the
day gets taxes on these manipulated, not real profits. The managers win laurels
for their so-called performance. But sustained losses ultimately expose the poor
US likely to revive annual economic aid, says official
The United States is considering reviving Pakistan's annual
economic assistance under USAID program which had been suspended many years ago.
"My department has proposed the revival of USAID to
Pakistan and now a final decision has to be taken by the Bush government over
the issue," said Mr Bear McConnell, Director of the Central Asian Task
Force at the US Agency for International Development.
He told reporters on Wednesday at the residence of the US
Ambassador to Pakistan that Official Development Assistance (ODA) for Pakistan
was likely to be restored soon. However, he pointed out that his government
would be taking any final decision about it.
Textile mills expedite cotton purchase
Textile mills have expedited cotton purchase following the
recent increase of 15 per cent in textile quota and relief in tariff by the
This was observed at the second meeting of the Cotton Crop
Assessment Committee at the Pakistan Central Cotton Committee on Tuesday.
The meeting was held under the chairmanship of M Shafi Niaz,
advisor to the Chief Executive on food, agriculture and livestock.
The committee reviewed the status of the current cotton crop
and synthesized the information furnished by the members. It was informed that
the current cotton crop was sown over 3.125 million hectares as against the
target of 2.56 million and 2.93 million hectares sown last year, showing an
increase of 22 per cent over the target and 7 per cent over last year.
Gas supply from Miano likely next month
Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) is likely to receive
gas supply from Miano next month following arrival of foreign experts working
for operators, OMV.
The gas supply of 87 mmcfd from the field near Sukkur, which
was due to be linked to the distribution system of SSSC from October, had been
put off due to sudden exodus of the company's foreign staff last month.
A senior SSGC executive told on Thursday that the operators
had verbally confirmed the arrival of experts from Austria.
NWFP fixes cane support price
Support price of sugarcane for the forthcoming crushing
season has been fixed at Rs42 per 40 kg and will not be curtailed during the
This was decided in a high-level meeting held on Monday which
was presided over by the NWFP Minister for Food and Agriculture Abeedullah Jan
for determining the purchase price of sugarcane. Besides Minister for Industries
NWFP, Owais Ahmad Ghani, Secretary Food and Agriculture, Brig. Azeem Khan,
members and president Sarhad Chamber of Agriculture and representatives of all
sugar mills in the province also attended the meeting.
Strategy evolved to boost sugar output
Minister for Food, Agriculture and Livestock (Minfal) Khair
Muhammad Junejo on Saturday said that two-pronged strategy has been evolved to
enhance local sugar production to save precious foreign exchange.
Addressing a one day seminar on 'sugar beet cultivation —
pros and cons' organized by Pakistan Society of Sugar Technologists, the
minister said because of severe drought situation the country, during last two
years, had spent Rs14 billion on import of sugar.
SME Bank lending operation from Jan
Newly-established SME Commercial Bank in the public sector
will start lending operations exclusively for small and medium enterprises from
"This is the first ever commercial banking institution
for lending to the SME sector, major segment of the economy with Rs1 billion
paid-up capital", chief of the institution, Kaiser H Naseem said on