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Jan 29 - Feb 04, 2001

Goods worth Rs100.6 billion imported duty-free

Pakistan imported Rs61 billion duty-free POL products in the first half of the current financial year against Rs12.3 billion in the corresponding period last year.

This phenomenal duty-free consignment plus five per cent reduction in the highest rate of duty on all goods and special concessions to the local industry this year resulted in an increase in duty-free imports by 86.2 per cent.

Total value of all imports made in this period this year, however, increased by only 31.3 per cent, say final figures compiled by the Central Board of Revenue (CBR).

Last year's total imports in the period valued Rs198.3 billion while this year that stood at Rs260.3 billion. The duty-free imports in last year's July-December valued Rs54 billion, this year Rs100.6 billion.

Imports of POL products has gone up this year by 123 per cent, from Rs38 billion to Rs85 billion, showing increase of Rs47 billion.

The second largest duty-free imports this year were of machinery valued at Rs16.4 billion, out of total import value of machinery which was Rs34.6 billion, meaning that 47 per cent machinery was duty-free.

The duty-free imports of yarn and fabrics valued Rs3.2 billion, out of total import value at Rs7.9 billion.

Chemicals imported duty-free this year valued at Rs2 billion, out of total import value of Rs25.4 billion. Last year the chemical import position was as follows: total import value Rs24.9 billion; duty-free import Rs2 billion.

Duty-free imports of iron and steel this year were of Rs1.5 billion, out of total import value of Rs8.3 billion. Last year these products' import position was total import value Rs9 billion; duty-free import Rs2 billion.

NWFP expects rise in leather products exports

NWFP government expects to surpass at the close of the current financial year the $11.6 million exports of leather and leather products made last year from NWFP.

At the close of the first six months of the current financial exports of leather good from NWFP stood at $6.33 million thereafter it was expected that the year would end up with exports [of leather goods] more than the last financial year, the NWFP minister for industries Owais Ghani said.

Exports of leather and leather products recorded improvement by over $10 million in the 1999-2000 financial year when compared with the exports made in the 1998-99 financial year.

The exports of leather and leather products from the NWFP rose from $1 million in the 1998-99 financial year to $12 million in the financial year ended on June 30, 2000.

PARCO negotiating with Iran for oil export

Pak Arab Refinery Limited (PARCO) is involved in negotiations with the Iranian government for the export of motor gasoline, source said on Monday.

If these negotiations are finalised, Pakistan will be among the petrol exporting countries of the world.

PARCO officials said they were confident about meeting the entire 300,000 tons petrol demand of Iran from the giant PARCO refinery set up at a cost of US$886m at Mahmudkot near Muzaffargarh, and commissioned only last August.

A detailed presentation on this petrol export potential was given to the Petroleum Minister, Usman Aminuddin, recently when he visited the city.

"We are involved in sorting out details that include the pricing, supply schedule, laying down of infrastructure for storage and other related matters" a well placed source in PARCO informed, while expressing confidence about reaching an agreement with the Iranians.

'Karachi lags behind in software export'

Although, 85 per cent of software companies are functioning in Karachi, but the city is found nowhere on export map. However, Lahore alone, is generating 80 per cent of software export earnings.

Barely, six companies have the privilege to export 70 per cent software, revealed the Secretary, Pakistan Software Houses Association (PASHA), Khurram P. Rafiq during an e-Pakistan lecture series, organized by the Computer Society of Pakistan (CSP) and e-Pakistan Initiatives at a CSP office on Wednesday.

He said exporters in Karachi are not contributing their due share despite the fact that 85 per cent of software houses are located here, coupled with 70 per cent Internet service providers (ISPs) and 58 per cent Internet merchants accounts.

Subsidized imports disallowed

All import goods with cost of production slashed due to excessive refund, rebate and drawback have been disallowed into Pakistan from January 1, 2001.

Under the Countervailing Duties Ordinance-2001, the National Tariff Commission is directed to follow stipulated guidelines for determining the over-rebated, refunded products in the exporting countries. These guidelines are meant for calculating the amount of subsidy allowed through tax and duty rebate/drawback concessions.

Local toys

Nobody, probably, could have imagined a couple of years ago that Pakistani entrepreneur could make deeper inroads into the protected toy markets of the western countries and change the playing habits of their children.

The major breakthrough on the toy export front was achieved without the absence of matching technology. The world producers of toys for children are more interested to sell their products rather than transfer of technology to the developing countries.

Pakistan, Japan Business Forum

Pakistan-Japan Business Forum is being formally launched on February 6, to further increase cooperation among businessmen of the two countries.

This was stated by the President, Japanese Association of Commerce and Industry and Managing Director, Mitsui Company, Masami Mizukami in a meeting with the SITE Association of Industry. He was accompanied by Ms Asako Okai, head of economic and development section, Embassy of Japan and Sardar Wasim Khan, senior economic consultant, Embassy of Japan.