three foreign cellular telephone operators have been the primarily
beneficiary of the friendly government policies other players such as
the Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Cable TV operators and software
houses. Since ISPs serve as the most important link between the
internet users and the telecommunication company, which in this case
is PTCL, and since internet is the very lifeblood of the IT industry,
the cover story will deal specifically with the issues related to and
status thereof of the internet in the country.
The government has announced that natural gas tariff will go up by an
estimated 70 to 130 per cent over a period of three years following
the decision to withdraw the annual subsidy of around Rs46 billion.
From March 1, prices of first 100 units would remain unchanged at
Rs66.86 per million British Thermal Unit (MMBTU). The tariff for
101-200 units (cubic meters has been increased by 7.9 per cent from
Rs93.39 toRs.100.93 per MMBTU. The rate for 201-300 units has been
raised from Rs138.93 to Rs161.16 per MMBTU up by 16 per cent.
banks have performed better during year 2001 despite economic slow
down. However, dividend payout by some banks was lower due to issue of
bonus shares. Profitability of the banks is expected to remain under
pressure during year 2002 due to declining interest rate environment.