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Feb 19 - 25, 2001

Textile machinery offered for sale

The Privatization Commission (PC) has offered textile processing machinery, of Lasbella Textile Mills for sale. A press release said the commission is offering the machinery for sale for on "as is where is" basis and will receive formal bids from the prospective bidders by March 14.

It is a project of Iran Pakistan Industries (Pvt) Limited situated at Uthal Balochistan, near Karachi. The sale is being conducted through a competitive bidding process, it said.

The processing section is a part of a fully integrated unit of 50,000 spindles, 1100 looms with complete dyeing and finishing facilities of around 80,000 meter per day. Production capacity of variable width ranging from 36" to 96". The plant was set up in 1980 and was shut down in 1984 and as such machinery has been barely used and is well maintained.

The list of the machinery being offered for sale is available free of cost from the offices of PC, Islamabad and Iran Pakistan Industries Ltd, Karachi.

However bidding documents can be obtained from PC office from February 19, on any working day on payment of non-refundable fee of Rs5,000 only.

The interested parties can inspect the machinery on prior appointment. PC is also holding a pre-bid conference at the conference room of PIDC, Karachi on March 12, to facilitate a better understanding of the bidding process and respond to the queries of the prospective bidders regarding the sale of machinery. The bidding shall be held on March 19, in a manner detailed in the instruction to bidders.

Raising of dam's height to cost Rs53bn

WAPDA's proposed plan to raise the height of the Mangla reservoir by 40 feet will cost Rs 53 billion including Rs. 20 billion for population resettlement, its learnt on Monday.

The raising of dam's height, which has already been approved by Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf, entails displacement of around 40,000 people living in over 7,000 houses falling within the project area.

The storage capacity of Mangla Dam will be increased by 3.10 MAF (million acre feet) and its energy output will be enhanced by 18 per cent by raising its height to 40 feet, said the feasibility report prepared by WAPDA, as a part of its 25-year vision plan.

WAPDA has already initiated work for preparing engineering design and tender documents, which, officials said, would take at least 18 months before starting physical work on the project.

Pakistan, China to sign deal for fighter jet

Pakistan and China are set to sign a formal agreement for the joint production of the Super 7 FC-1 fighter jet, a local newspaper reported. It said the pact was likely to be signed during the visit of Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal Mushaf Ali Mir to China later this month. The jet is roughly of the same class as the American F-16.

The newspaper quoted an official as saying that the air chief would visit China on February 21 to sign the deal for the joint production of the fighter jet by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and Chinese Aircraft Industrial Corporation.

"Sensing the emerging security situation in the region, the government is committed to equip the Pakistan Air Force with modern war machines and fighter jets," the official said.

He said the project had been lingering on for the last three years due to the inability of former bosses of the PAF to take necessary decisions about various sub-systems to be installed on F-7MG and Super 7 FC-1 fighter aircraft.

SMEDA marble plan not approved

The marble and granite sector development plan, prepared by SMEDA, NWFP region, well over two years ago still awaits approval from the chief executive secretariat for getting formally launched, sources told.

It was during the Nawaz Sharif government that provincial SMEDA, finalized the assigned preparation of the development plan. However, it could not be announced as the then SMEDA chairman sought some changes in the initial draft.

Defence budget not to go up

The federal cabinet on Wednesday agreed in principle not to increase the defence budget and keep it "constant" as has been proposed by the Debt Reduction and Management Committee.

"Most of the recommendations of the committee to reduce huge debt burden were appreciated by the cabinet members. Now the government will implement these recommendations," said Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz, while briefing newsmen.

Indian IT firm

A Bangalore (India) based IT company has offered to set up its offshore office and facility centre in Pakistan and has approached the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) to inform it about the relevant details.

The Indian IT company with a Muslim chief executive is keen to know about the IT policies and other formalities involved in setting up business in Pakistan. It has shown interest in providing the Internet and e-commerce facility to all the Muslim countries.

Ecological hazards cause $1.8 billion loss

Pakistan's economy is suffering an annual loss of US$1.8 billion owing to environmental hazards, Federal Minister for Environment, Local Government and Rural Development, told a news conference on Monday.

The Minister accompanied by the Secretary Shafqat Shah Eizdi said, the cost of environmental damage was taking its toll due to mismanagement of six environmental areas municipal and solid waste, urban air pollution, cultivable and rangeland degradation, deforestation and destruction of mangrove forests.

Centre lowers wheat output target

The federal government has been forced to revise downward wheat production target for 2000-2001 again by 1.25 million tons within three months as the provinces have refused to give production commitment due to "unfavourable farm sector policies of the centre this year".

This was disclosed in a summary on wheat situation 2000-2001 submitted before the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet which met on Friday.