April 08 - 14, 2002
CABINET OKAYS REFERENDUM
The cabinet and the National Security Council on
Wednesday unanimously approved the holding of a referendum to extend
President Pervez Musharraf's rule for a term of five years when the
present term will expire after the October general elections.
The president may announce the date for the
referendum in his address to the nation scheduled for Friday. Informed
circles said the referendum would most probably be held on May 6.
Some of the participants of the meeting believed to
have said that referendum should be held as early as possible to avert
the possibility of political and religious parties joining hands to
oppose the exercise.
According to an official announcement, the joint
meeting unanimously approved the holding of a national referendum on
'important national issues'. "The president will address the
nation on Friday to take people into confidence on the details of the
The meeting, presided over by Gen Musharraf, was
attended by the services chiefs, Vice Chief of the Army Staff and
provincial governors besides members of the cabinet, the announcement
The participants of the meeting were asked not to
divulge the details of the deliberations as the president would
himself unveil his plan over the issue on Friday. "Everyone has
been asked not to speak on this issue, therefore I won't talk,"
said a ministerial source.
Insiders maintained that the use of vote for
referendum was being made mandatory as the government wanted maximum
participation unlike the previous such exercises carried out by Ayub
Khan and Gen Zia.
Pakistan Muslim League (Q), also known as the
King's party, Farooq Leghari's Millat Party, Prof Tahirul Qadri's
Pakistan Awami Tehrik and Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf have
already announced support for the referendum.
PAKISTAN OFFERS CNG EXPERTISE TO IRAN
Pakistan is ranked No 3 as the world's largest
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) user after Italy and Argentina and it can
provide technical expertise and cooperation to develop and promote the
CNG industry in Iran.
These views were expressed by the Secretary
Petroleum and Natural Resources, M. Abdullah Yusuf while talking to
the six-member Iranian delegation led by the Chief Advisor to the
Minister for Oil, Fereidoun Saghafiyan who held a detailed discussion
on Pak-Iran cooperation in CNG industry.
IDBP TO BE READY FOR SELL-OFF BY JUNE
Chairman of the Industrial Development Bank of
Pakistan (IDBP), Badruddin Khan said on Thursday that the bank will be
ready for privatization by June this year.
He stated this during a meeting with Korangi
Association of Trade and Industry (KATI) members and industrialists.
He said that the emphasis of the present management of the bank was
introduction of transparent systems.
IDBP chief told KATI members that the sick
industrial units on the portfolio of the bank would be handed over to
Corporate and Industrial Restructuring Corporation (CIRC) for
He pointed out that these measures will improve the
financial position of the bank. He informed the industrialists that
the bank would be sold to reputable and professional group having a
expertise in running the bank.
The government on Thursday approved a list of 256
life-saving drugs exempted from the 15 per cent general sales tax (GST).
President Gen Pervez Musharraf on Friday had ordered the authorities
concerned to finalize the list and review all issues concerning the
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan
has cancelled licences of two leasing companies - National Asset
Leasing Corporation Limited (NALC) and Dadabhoy Leasing Company
Limited (DLCL) - for their failure to fulfil the requirement of
minimum paid-up capital for all leasing companies to Rs200 million by
the prescribed date.
LEVY OF GST ON COOKING OIL, GHEE PUT OFF
The ministry of finance has decided to postpone the
levy of general sales tax (GST) on cooking oil and vegetable ghee to
avoid public anger.
Well-placed sources told on Wednesday that in
anticipation of strong public and industry reaction, the government
"has been compelled" to delay the levy, as this would have
come hard on the heels of recent slapping of GST on all kinds of
drugs, urea and fertilizers.
15PC GST AT RETAIL, WHOLESALE STAGES IMPOSED
The government has imposed 15 per cent General
Sales Tax (GST) on supply of urea and all kinds of fertilizers at
retail and wholesale stages.
The retailers and wholesalers will also pay three
per cent additional sales tax in case of supply of fertilizer,
excluding urea fertilizer to a non-registered person.
17,006 UNITS DE-REGISTERED
The Central Board of Revenue, on the recommendation
of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, has
de-registered 17,006 units wrongly registered with the sales tax
In nationwide de-registration drive, of the said 17,006 units,
4,336 taxpayers were de-registered during July-January period of the
current fiscal, and rest in the past months.