April 15 - 21, 2002
MUSHARRAF TERMS REFERENDUM CONSTITUTIONAL
President Gen Pervez Musharraf began campaign for
his referendum from the historic Minar-i-Pakistan on Tuesday, asking
people to elect him for five years if they approved his policies and
wanted their continuation. He asked them to be ready for the
referendum which, he said, would be held on April 30.
Speaking at a public rally for about 45 minutes at
the place where Pakistan Resolution was adopted on March 23, 1940, the
President targeted Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif and "those who
wanted them to return to Pakistan to again plunder it," some
senior politicians who, he said, were out to promote "negative
politics," and the religious parties in the Muttahida
Thousands of people attended the rally for which
all government resources had been used. They included workers of PML-Q,
Millat Party, Tehrik-i-Insaaf, Pakistan Awami Tehrik, JUP (Niazi), All
Pakistan Christian Movement, Qaumi Jamhoori Party and the MQM.
Thousands of officials of almost all government
departments and the civic bodies like the district government, LDA,
Parks and Horticulture Authority, teachers of government educational
institutions and district government's schools and those taken to
Lahore from other cities by their district Nazims were among the
Plain clothesmen belonging to police, army, rangers
and other agencies mingled with people and filled the open space
between them and the stage, raising slogans and carrying portraits of
Gen Musharraf which were distributed among them by their seniors in
Provincial and some federal ministers, Corps
Commander Lt-Gen Zarrar Azim, ISPR chief Maj-Gen Rashid Qureshi, all
administrative secretaries and senior military officers were also
18 PARTIES TO BID FOR NINE OIL, GAS FIELDS
The bidding for disinvestment of Government of
Pakistan's working interests in nine oil and gas wells will take place
on April 15.
Gaffney, Cline & Associates (GCA) and JP Morgan
are jointly acting as the financial advisers for the sale of GoP's
direct working interest in these nine oil & gas leases.
These nine concessions, which together currently
have daily production of over 20,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day
(approximately 9,700 barrels of oil and 62 million cubic feet of gas
per day), up some 5 per cent from the year before, and contain in
excess of 50 million barrels equivalent of reserves, are:
The Privatization Commission had early last year
and again this year solicited expressions of interest (EoIs) from
parties interested in acquiring the GoP's working interest in these
PROVINCIAL, LOCAL GOVT FUNDS TO BE MERGED
The government has decided to merge the provincial
fund with the existing funds at the local-government level. The
decision was taken at a meeting on new local government finance system
held on Monday , presided over by National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB)
Chairman Tanvir Naqvi.
Provincial finance ministers, secretary-general
finance, representatives of the ministry of finance, Auditor General
of Pakistan, controller general of accounts, provincial secretaries of
finance and the provincial accountant generals attended the meeting.
GOVT TO CUT CUSTOMS TARIFF IN NEXT BUDGET
Customs tariff would be reduced by five per cent
bringing it down from the current 30 per cent to 25 per cent under the
next financial year's budget.
Similarly, customs duty on raw material would also
experience substantial reduction under the next financial year's
budget in an attempt, on the part of the government, to bring down the
cost of raw material to facilitate the manufacturing sector, said the
Federal Minister for Commerce and Industry, Abdul Razak Dawood, on
UNIFORM POWER TARIFF
The government has decided to maintain a uniform
power tariff across the country, even after issuing separate licenses
to eight distribution firms of WAPDA.
Official sources told that the policy committee on
the power sector restructuring programme, led by federal secretary for
water and power, had resolved that uniform tariff should be maintained
throughout the country.
The government is considering giving 50 per cent
income tax exemption to private sector educational institutions
earning over Rs22 billion every year, informed sources told.
The sources said the profitability of private
educational institutions was estimated at over 50 per cent. This is
one of the highest profitability ratio earned by any business in
Pakistan, even higher than 40 per cent profit of the oil and gas
OIL PRICES LIKELY TO REMAIN UNCHANGED
The Oil Companies Advisory Committee (OCAC) is
holding its scheduled meeting on Monday (April 15) amidst market
reports that prices of petroleum products for the consumers may remain
unchanged for next fortnight.
PC STARTS DISPATCHING RSOQ
The officials of the Privatization Commission have
started dispatching request of statement of qualification (RSoQ) from
Wednesday to those parties who had submitted their EoIs.
The Privatization Commission had invited expression
of interest (EoI) from qualified strategic local and foreign investors
to sell 51 per cent equity stake in Pakistan State Oil (PSO), together
with management control in early March this year.
HABIB BANK PROMOTING SMES
Habib Bank has taken a number of steps to facilitate industrialists
and to strengthen the SMEs sector, which is a backbone of the economy.
HBL President Zakir Mahmood stated this while addressing the members
of Gujranwala Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), on Wednesday.