. .



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

A

INDUSTRY


April 29 - May 05, 2002

MEGA PROJECTS LAUNCHING WITHIN THIS MONTH

A number of new mega development projects worth billions of rupees including Lyari Express Way, Northern Bypass and greater water supply schemes are being launched within this month throughout Pakistan to remove inter- provincial disharmony.

"New resource allocations are being worked out in such a manner that there is no quarrel among the provinces," said President General Pervez Musharraf. Also greater provincial autonomy will be ensured in the future political set-up.

He said that the second phase of macro development projects was about to be launched for which he was reaching Karachi within this week. He said issues relating to water distribution were being resolved to the satisfaction of the provinces.

In a wide ranging interview on Thursday, he said that 10-year plan has been worked out to undertake a massive development programme in all the provinces with a view to removing inter-provincial disharmony.

The President said that he was ensuring that smaller provinces should get bigger shares in development work so that injustices and sense of deprivation of decades could be removed.

Some of the important development projects, he said, will be completed within next three years that include Gawadar Port and Coastal Highways. The coastal highway projects, he said, had been started from Ormara and will end at Pasni.

The development of agriculture sector, the president said, was one of the major priorities of the government for which projects like Mirani Dam, Gomal Zum Dam, Right Bank Outfall Drain (RBOD), and Thal Canal had been initiated. "Almost seven km of Thal Kanal area had been completed," he said adding that work on Kachi Kanal will also be launched within this year. He said that huge funds had been made available to take up new projects.

ADB REPORT ON ECONOMY GENERALLY FAVOURABLE

The fiscal balance that worsened in the first half of 2001-2002 is likely to further deteriorate in the second half as expenditure on mobilisation of troops on the eastern border with India since December 2002 is reflected in the budget, says the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The overall economic growth for 2001-2002 is likely to be about 3.5 per cent, an improvement on last year's growth of 2.6 per cent, it further stated.

Output in the manufacturing sector has not been significantly affected by global recession, and the farming sector also has adjusted to continuing conditions of drought.

Money supply increased by 9.6 per cent compared with 4.3 per cent in the same period of the last year. The discount rate was lowered from 14 per cent in June 2001 to 9 per cent by February 2002, and the annual rate of return on six-month Treasury Bills declined from 12.9 per cent up to 6.4 per cent.

PAKISTAN, CHINA SIGN ACCORD ON RAILWAYS

Federal Minister for Communications and Railways Lt-Gen (retired) Javed Asharf Qazi said on Tuesday that economic cooperation between Pakistan and China would further cement mutual relations between the two countries.

He was speaking on the occasion of an agreement signing ceremony between the Pakistan Railways and China Railways Materials and Supplies Corporation.

Later, a contract for the procurement of 52,000 metric tons railways material was signed between the PR and CRMASC.

PIONEER CEMENT SWITCHES OVER TO COAL

Pioneer Cement Limited says its coal firing plant has begun operations from January 1, this year, switching all the production on coal.

In the race to switch over from furnace oil to coal as the low cost firing system of production the leaders among the cement producing companies in the country expect to have converted by the end of the year, but Pioneer's claim makes it the first to have reached the goal.

IRSA MAY DELAY THAL CANAL PROJECT

The Punjab has expressed fears that Sindh, Balochistan and the NWFP, may succeed in blocking water certification for the Greater Thal canal on, what it called, "flimsy grounds."

Sources in the provincial Irrigation Department said that after failing to convince President Pervez Musharraf on Sindh's exclusive historical right on the Indus water and semantic crisis around the project, it has changed the tactics; quantify flood water supplies for other provinces before building the canal.

The Indus River System Authority (Irsa) which was convened to be scheduled to be held on Wednesday for the certification a prerequisite for the final approval of the ECNEC (Executive Committee for National Economic Cooperation).

284 DRUGS APPROVED FOR LOCAL PRODUCTION

The federal government has approved the registration of 284 drugs for local manufacturing and import. And 20 products were allowed to be manufactured on toll basis from different manufacturing units, said an official handout issued on Saturday.

A total of 328 applications for registration of drugs for local manufacture and import were filed with the board.

COTTON BALES

The Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC) on Saturday projected a production of 10.9 million bales during the current season.

According to Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC), this upward revision was made at the 10th and final meeting of CCAC under the chairmanship of adviser to the chief executive on food, agriculture and livestock, M Shafi Niaz in Karachi.