April 08 - 14, 2002
ASSEMBLERS TOLD TO DOUBLE CAR PRODUCTION
The government on Tuesday issued a stern warning to the local
car industry to double its production, provide discounts for delayed deliveries
and reduce the prices or get ready for the consequences in the budget 2002-03.
"They have the capacity to double the production. Those
who could not increase the production, would have to pack up," secretary
industries and production Dr. Akram Sheikh told reporters after presiding over a
meeting with car manufacturers.
In return, the manufacturers committed specific figures to
doubling the production in remaining months of the current fiscal and pay
mark-up or provide discount on delayed deliveries but opposed any decision for
the import of reconditioned cars.
Around 5,824 units of Honda Civic and City model were
produced last year while eight-month production this year stood at 5,050. They
would increase sale production to 7,500-8,000 units by end of the year.
The production of Suzuki Mehran last year stood at 5,000
against eight-month production of 5,605 this year. Total production by end of
the year would exceed to 10,000, said Dr. Sheikh. Suzuki would produce 1,000
units in April, 1,100 in May and 1,200 in June, he explained.
Corolla production last year stood at 8,486 against 3,262
during eight months of the current fiscal, a steep fall in production mainly
because of introduction of new Corolla model. Due to the switch over, Corolla
could produce only 52 cars in February and 390 in March. They have promised to
produce 650 in April and 800 per month in May and June, the secretary said.
"The gist of the discussion was that the manufacturers
should earn profit by satisfying the customers with production and quality and
not by keeping customers' money in the banks," said Dr. Akram Sheikh.
WHITE SUGAR UNSOLD STOCKS AT RECORD HIGH
The unsold stocks of white sugar lying in the mill godowns
swelled to 1.7 million tons as lifting by the bulk consumers as well official
sources was claimed to be on the lower side of the monthly average.
Dealers attributed the recent increase in prices to 10 per
cent hike in import duty to 30 per cent from 20 per cent, which has made imports
by the commercial importers uncompetitive, but has given a free-hand to the
millers to set the trend for prices to follow on the wholesale and retail
markets. But there is no reflection of sympathetic price decline on the
wholesale market, which were quoted higher by Rs100 per bag of 100 kg on Friday.
PHUTTI ARRIVAL INCREASES
Phutti arrival from fields into ginneries made a maiden
increase of 0.31 per cent for the current season as indicated by figures up to
March 31, 2002, released by the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA), on
According to details phutti arrival (up to March 31) crossed
10 million mark as total arrival stood at 10.116 million bales. This remarkable
turn-around is more significant from a point of view that current cotton season
started with a dismal arrival which was 35 per cent lesser than last year.
Now it could be easily said the latest raw cotton production
assessment made by the cotton crop committee at 10.5 million bales has now
become more relevant and achievable.
The textile mills being the largest consumers of raw cotton
have so far lifted 8.417 million bales, while the TCP procured 215,362 bales and
exporters 87,526 bales. However, a sizable quantity of unsold stocks at 1.396
million bales are still lying with the ginneries who claim to be facing with
FALL IN GROUNDWATER LEVEL
The government is likely to put in place very soon a legal
framework to control over-extraction of groundwater and withdraw prevailing
subsidies on tubewells in view of fast deteriorating groundwater level in the
This has been suggested in a report submitted to President
Gen Pervez Musharraf recently. The report was prepared jointly by federal flood
commission of the water and power ministry, Pakistan Council of Research in
Water Resources of the ministry of science, ministry of food, agriculture and
livestock and Pakistan Meteorological Department of the ministry of defence.
FOOD, BEVERAGES, TOBACCO WEIGHTAGE REDUCED BY 5PC
The Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS) has reduced the
weightage of "food, beverages & tobacco" in the new Consumer Price
Index (base 2000-01) by over 5 per cent as compared to the previous CPI when the
base year was 1990-91.
It now accounts for 44.12 per cent of the average family
According to an in-depth analysis of the FBS statistics
released recently, reduction in weightage is reported only for the lowest income
group, that is, households with monthly earnings up to Rs3,000. In the previous
CPI with 1990-91 as the base, the family budget survey had found the share of
food in the lowest income group (up to Rs1,500) to be 54.58, compared with 50.75
in the new CPI.
ASIA ECONOMIC FOURM
China has invited Pakistan to attend Asia Economic Forum,
which meets on April 12 to evolve a new economic agenda and future economic
strategy for ensuring rapid economic growth in Asia.
Over 1,400 prominent world leaders including Chinese Premier
Zhu Rongji, Japanese Prime Minister Junichino Koizumi, Prime Minister Thanksin
Shinawatra of Thailand, Prime Minister Lee Han-do Republic of Korea will be
attending the meeting.
WAPDA STAFFERS TRANSFERRED
WAPDA has transferred its 115,000 employees of grade 16 and
below to 12 distribution, transmission and generation companies with effect from
April 1, WAPDA sources told.
The remaining workforce of around 5,000, primarily in the officer cader
(BS-16 to 21), would be transferred to these companies by April 30.