05 - 11, 2001
Mangla Dam height to be raised by 40 feet
The government has decided to raise height of Mangla Dam by
40 feet to enhance its storage capacity, it is learnt.
Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf has approved the
proposal put forward by the Water and Power Development Authority on the basis
of a feasibility study undertaken by the authority, which maintained that
raising height of Mangla Dam by 40 feet was technically and economically
Detailed designing of the project has also been ordered and
it has been decided that Wapda will bear the cost of detailed designing up to
the tendering stage.
The raising of Mangla Dam height will cater, though
partially, the growing demand of water by all the provinces. It is feared that
if the country's water storage capacity is not increased up to a satisfactory
level, water will become a major irritant among the provinces in the coming
The government has also decided to launch small water storage
schemes of less than 0.2 MAF (million acre feet) and costing less than Rs200
million. These schemes would be executed by the provinces while Wapda would
provide the required technical assistance wherever required.
Regarding Wapda's deficit, the chief executive has
constituted a high-level committee headed by finance minister Shaukat Aziz.
Chairman Water and Power Development Authority Lt-Gen Zulfiqar Ali and Chief of
Staff (COS) to chief executive Lt-Gen Ghulam Ahmed will act as members of the
committee which will forward its proposals to the Chief Executive by Feb 10 on
how to resolve Wapda's deficit of Rs18.8 billion.
Shortfall in sugar output likely
The white sugar production has declined further by 0.286
million tons thereby widening the gap between estimated output and consumption
by 0.5 million tons for the current season.
The figures, released by Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA),
disclosed that total white sugar production up to January 15, stood at 1.012
million tons as against 1.298 million tons production in the corresponding
period last year.
Despite a widening shortfall in current season's production,
sugar technologists are of a firm belief that the country would meet its current
consumption demand out of 0.5 millions tons of imported raw sugar and a carry
over stocks of around 80,000 tons from last season's imported white sugar.
The enhanced domestic consumption for current season of white
sugar is being placed near three million tons, against an estimated production
of 2.5 million tons.
Govt. promoting oil, gas sector
Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Usman
Aminuddin has said that the government was giving top priority to the promotion
of oil and gas sector, at an accelerated pace in order to reduce the heavy
import oil bill and to stabilize Pakistan's economy.
The minister was talking to the chief executive of Premier
Oil UK, Charles Jamieson accompanied by Peter Cockcraft, General Manager of
Premier and Shell Pakistan B.V. (a joint venture between Premier Oil and Shell),
which called on the minister to discuss matters pertaining to Pak-Premier Oil
cooperation in the oil and gas sector.
The minister briefed Charles Jamieson about the on-going and
future development activities in upstream and downstream petroleum sector. He
also explained salient features of the new off-shore package and said, it would
attract more investment.
Sindh jute industry in trouble
Sindh jute industry has strongly protested against Punjab
government's decision of not buying its polypropylene (PP) quality bags for
wheat procurement this year, fearing it will ruin the whole provincial industry
and render thousands of its poor rural labourers jobless.
In an SOS to federal government, the Sindh jute industry,
which has already halt work on one its shifts, pointed out to the centre that
Punjab government's decision of discouraging its jute bags at a stage when these
bags were manufactured in a huge quantity would hurt the provincial jute
Mills to stop cane lifting
The Sindh sugar mills will stop lifting surgarcane from
growers at the agreed price of Rs50 per 40 kilogram.
This was decided at the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association's (Sindh
Zone) extraordinary general meeting held on Wednesday, to review the situation
pertaining to sugarcane supply and price trend.
NWFP records budgetary deficit
The NWFP recorded budgetary deficit of over Rs5 billion as a
result of reduced payments made to it by the Centre from the federal divisible
There was also massive shortfall at the provincial level
under its own receipts during the first half of the current financial year,
according to senior functionaries of the provincial government.
Against a total annual share [from FDP] of Rs20,360.79
million projected under the provincial budget document, the province received
around Rs7,660 million during the period.
'US firms interested in oil sector'
Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Usman
Aminuddin has said that a number of US companies are already operating in the
oil and gas exploration activities in Pakistan and contributing towards
augmenting Pakistan's efforts to boost this vital sector of the economy.
The minister was talking to US ambassador to Pakistan William
B Milam, who called on him on Tuesday. Both discussed matters of mutual and
The minister briefed the US envoy about the ongoing and
future development activities in the upstream and downstream oil and gas
Package for agriculture sector
The government has offered the agriculture sector a package
of duty exemption on import of machinery and equipment Tuesday. The package
would be valid for agriculture, forest and water development all machinery
imported for which in future would not be charged duty rate of above 10 per cent