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 1. INTERNATIONAL   2. INDUSTRY
 3. FINANCE  4. POLICY
 5. TRADE  6. GULF

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INDUSTRY


April 01 - 07, 2002

PRODUCTION OF INDUSTRIAL ITEMS DECLINES

The production of automobile and industrial items drastically reduced during first half of the current fiscal, though overall large scale manufacturing posted around 3.7 per cent growth compared with the corresponding period last year.

The production of industrial items like cigarettes, jute goods, chip board, soda ash, ammonium nitrate, di-ammonium, phosphate, glass sheet, cement, coke, pig iron/H metal, cast/rolled billet, H.R coils/plates, C.R coils, galvanized products, jeeps, trucks, buses and tractors declined during first six months period of the current fiscal.

The production of jeeps, trucks, buses and tractors declined by 22.32 per cent, 23.01 per cent, 40.64 per cent and 26.24 per cent, respectively, in July-January 2001-02 against corresponding period last year. The jeep production declined due to reduced purchases by the government and public sector agencies as a result of budgetary constraints.

The fall in buses and trucks production was, however, due to recession in the market and no new induction of buses took place under the urban transport scheme. Reduction in tractor production has been attributed entirely to reduced loan advancement by the Agricultural Development Bank of Pakistan (ADBP).

The car production stood at 21,618 in first six months of the current fiscal against 21,351 same period last fiscal, showing a nominal improvement of 1.25 per cent, while jeep production dropped from 327 last fiscal to 254 during first six months of the current fiscal. Trucks production reduced to 425 from 552 last year, showing a reduction of 23 per cent.

Similarly, bus production also came down by 40.64 per cent to 523 from 881 last year. Tractors production also reduced to 11,503 from 15,596 last year, down by 26.24 per cent.

The production of jute goods during the period amounted to 41,146 tons as compared to 53,783 tons over the corresponding period last fiscal, showing a decline of 23.50 per cent.

The cement production in July-January 2001-02 has been 5.59 million tons against 5.914 million tons during corresponding period last fiscal, showing a shortfall of 5.47 per cent.

OGDCL ENHANCES PRODUCTION

Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL), as an operator in a joint venture, has made yet another landmark achievement in enhancing the oil and gas production through its Chak 63 Well # 01 located in District Sanghar, Sindh.

According to a press release, the joint venture is comprised of OGDCL, OPI and government holdings. This well will save $13 million per annum precious foreign exchange. The well is located about 10-km north west of Chak-5 Dim. Sanghar is the nearest town, which is about 20-km south east of the location.

In a special message, Usman Aminuddin, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, has lauded this commendable achievement of OGDCL and greeted its officers and staff who made this major discovery possible through indigenous efforts. He reiterated the need for a dynamic and progressive approach to enhance exploration activity.

MANGLA FILLING BEGINS IN APRIL

Projecting a water shortage between 33 per cent and 54 per cent during early Kharif, the Indus River System Authority on Wednesday agreed to start filling Mangla Dam from early next month and meet "reasonable (water) requirement" of Sindh.

The filling of Mangla Dam and releases to Sindh would be made on the basis of "existing actual average annual uses" of 1977-1982, commonly known as historic use.

A decision to this effect was taken by the Irsa's technical committee. Sindh had opposed the suggestion to fill Mangla Dam from April 1, and demanded that Taunsa-Punjnad and Chashma-Jhelum link canals should be closed till June 10.

PLAN UNDER WAY TO PROMOTE SMES

The Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (Smeda) is presently working on a plan which would suggest to the government how to remove regulatory retardants in the way of promoting SMEs.

This was stated by Smeda's chief operating officer (COO) Asir Manzur at a workshop jointly organized by Smeda and Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) on Thursday.

He said that the main objective of Smeda is to assist the small and medium enterprises with technical gradation marketing support especially in export markets.

SURPLUS SUGAR

Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) has urged the TCP to purchase 0.2 to 0.3 million tons sugar out of the expected surplus of 0.621 million tons.

PROGRESS ON WHITE OIL PIPELINE REVIEWED

Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Usman Aminuddin on Wednesday underlined the importance of the white oil pipeline project in national economy, and called upon the Pak Arab Pipeline Company (PAPCO) Joint Venture to expedite the work so that it could be completed at the earliest possible time.

The minister was presiding over a meeting on Wednesday to review the progress on the project. The meeting was attended by the Director General (Oil), Director General (Special Projects), Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources and Managing Directors of joint venture companies PARCO, PSO, Shell and Caltex.

Usman Aminuddin said that early completion of the project would not only bring rapid economic development in the country but also put the petroleum sector on road to speedy progress.