15 - 21, 2002
PAKISTAN LOSING RICE MARKET TO INDIA
Indian rice exporters have thrust their way into
the world market by elbowing out Pakistani exporters, who are
presently confronted with numerous problems that come in their way in
making viable export contracts, exporters said.
"The edge enjoyed by Indian rice exporters in
price along with full backup support from their government did not
only forced the Pakistani exporters to leave world markets but also
resulted in a steep fall in exports," a leading exporter said.
According to reports appearing in Indian media, the
Pakistani exporters are losing market share in the Middle East, Africa
and Southeast Asia to rival India, where rice prices are significantly
lower and the government has also lifted all restrictions on export of
all food grains, including rice and wheat.
Consequently, Pakistan after exporting 1.439
million tons of rice last year (July-March) has to witness a drastic
fall of 29.8 per cent in over all rice exports this year (July-March)
on exporting 1.011 million tons only. The fob price earned during last
nine months (July-March) through export of rice stood at $266.682
million as against $333.786 million fetched in the corresponding
period last year. This shows a fall of 20.1 per cent or $67.11 million
less in foreign exchange earning.
The rice exporters had been demanding of the
government to remove hurdles in the way of exports particularly double
pre-shipment inspection (PSI), one carried by Quality Review Committee
(QRC) and another by PSI of buyers which the exporters say is a
Despite the fact that all these demands of rice
exporters had been well taken at the highest level in the Ministry of
Commerce but no practical move had been initiated so far to remove
these hurdles which have ultimately damaged the country's rice export
market, managing committee member of REAP, Mohammad Hussain Khandwalla
IMPORT WITHOUT APPROVAL ALLOWED
The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has decided to
allow duty free import of compressed natural gas (CNG) machinery,
equipment, conversion kits and cylinders without prior approval of
Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources.
The government had exempted all these items from
the levy of customs duty and sales tax in case imported by CNG
companies or the local automotive manufacturers and assemblers.
A relevant customs official told that the decision
to this effect was taken following the recommendation of the Petroleum
Ministry to abolish the condition of seeking prior approval of the
ministry for getting the duty exemption on these items.
KENYA TO IMPORT FERTILIZER
Kenya Tea Board (KTB) has agreed to import
fertilizer and packaging/packing material to bring balance in the
trade of both the countries. This was stated by Federal Minister for
Commerce, Industries and Production Abdul Razak Dawood in a meeting
with the visiting delegation of Kenya Tea Board.
Dawood said that Pakistan was the biggest buyer of
Kenyan tea due to which the "balance of trade" was in favour
of Kenya which needed improvement through increasing imports by Kenya.
The minister said that both sides would work on the
proposal aimed at improving the trade balance.
TCP ACCEPTS BIDS
The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) has
accepted bids for export of 129,900 tons of wheat at the rate of
$104.40 per ton, it was announced on Thursday.
The tender was floated in the last week of March
for export of 100,000 tons wheat of Punjab Food Department. Bids were
opened on April 5, at TCP headquarters, in the presence of bidders.
DAWOOD WARNS BUSINESSMEN
Federal Minister for Commerce, Industries,
Production and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood has warned the NWFP
businessmen that the government would ban the trade through land route
from the Frontier province with Afghanistan if the misuse of the
facility is not stopped.
GOVT NOT TO ALLOW IMPORT OF USED CARS
Minister for commerce, industry and production
Abdul Razak Dawood on Saturday said the government is not going to
allow import of reconditioned cars as this will ruin the local
industry which has just started to pick-up.
Addressing a press conference at PIDC headoffice,
the minister said that the government's objective is to increase
existing capacity of car manufacturers so that consumers do not face
shortage or have to wait for longer delivery period.
The minister said that three meetings, including
one held on Saturday with car manufacturers have produced good
He said that car manufacturers have agreed to
ensure delivery within a period of three months and in case of any
delay the consumer will be paid interest for a period beyond three
CONTRACT AWARDED TO COMPLETE MOTORWAY
The government has awarded contract for completing
the remaining work on Peshawar-Islamabad motorway project worth Rs13
billion, without following the process of tender, marking a shift from
the transparency claims of the present government.
According to NHA officials, an MoU was signed with
a consortium of local contractors, led by the SKB, to complete the
remaining work of Islamabad-Peshawar motorway.
The contract, sources say, would have saved more money if the
process of tender was followed. Under the MoU signed, the contractor
will be required to complete Peshawar-Islamabad motorway within three
years, or four years, depending on the cash flow from the government.