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The 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.

Oil-Gas Prices
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.

Commercial Banks
The 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.

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