29 - May 05, 2002
WORLD OIL COS INTERESTED IN PSO
Privatization Minister Altaf M. Saleem on Thursday
said that world oil marketing companies like TOTAL and investors from
Oman and Kuwait had expressed their interest in buying Pakistan State
"PSO seems to be very attractive entity for
them," he said, while addressing the executive committee members
of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma).
Altaf Saleem said that the bidding for United Bank
Limited would be held on May 25 and added that all the irritants in
the way of bank's privatization regarding the refund by the Central
Board of Revenue and Rs18 billion credit extended by the bank in
Middle Eastern region had been resolved.
"Now the right of recovering credit from the
Middle Eastern region lies with the government of Pakistan," he
said. He said the process of privatization had received positive
response from the domestic and foreign investors during the last two
months. He said that number of parties interested in the purchase of
Investment Corporation of Pakistan's 26 funds was more than 12.
"A similar response has been witnessed in case
of National Investment Trust (NIT)," the minister said. He said
that Canadian oil exploration firms were digging 16,000 wells annually
against 25 by Pakistan's Oil and Gas Development Corporation (OGDC).
Altaf Saleem said the government was trying to
rationalize the natural gas prices so that every body pays the real
price of the consumed fuel. "Industry has been paying 160 per
cent price of the gas due to the subsidy provided to the domestic
consumers," he said.
Responding to a question, the minister said that
sick units revival committee's decisions were binding for all the
banks after their notification by the State Bank.
BADIN-1 BID REVISED UPWARD TO $143M
The highest bidder for Badin-I oil well has revised
upward its bid from $131 million to $143 million, which is now being
actively considered by the Privatization Commission (PC).
Pakistan Exploration & Production Inc, UK and
Occidental Oil & Gas Pakistan LLC had jointly given the highest
bid of $131 million for Badin-1 on April 15, which was not approved by
the Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCoP). The bidder was asked to
raise its bid.
Sources in the PC on Saturday confirmed that they
have received the revised bid of $143 million, which was roughly close
to their reference price and that now the PC Board will shortly meet
to recommend to the CCoP to approve the transaction.
The Privatization Commission on Monday last was
offered a total of $176.3 million by the highest bidders for the
divestment of Government of Pakistan (GoP)'s shareholding in nine oil
& gas concessions. This also included $131 million for Badin-1.
BANKERS EYE $2BN REMITTANCES
Pakistan hopes to get $1.722 billion in the shape
of workers remittances during this fiscal year up from $1 billion
received in fiscal 2000-01. Sources close to the ministry of finance
say the government initially expected to get $1.870 billion through
workers remittances but lately it has scaled down the projection to
$1.722 billion in consultation with the IMF. But senior officials of
half a dozen banks handling workers remittances say the remittances
may reach $2 billion by end of June.
The country has already got $1.543 billion workers
remittances in the first nine months of the current fiscal year i.e.
between July/March 2001/02. Workers remittances form major part of
home remittances that also include Hajj remittances; remittances from
Kuwait-Iraq war affectees and foreign exchange earnings through
encashment of Foreign Exchange Bearer Certificates (FEBCs) and Foreign
Exchange Currency Certificates (FEBs). In the first nine months of
this fiscal year home remittances inclusive of all this stood at
NWFP SEEKS INCENTIVES
NWFP Minister for Industries and Labour Mohsin Aziz
has asked the federal government to grant incentives to the province
to enable it to have at least one car assembling plant.
He said concessions to one car plant in the NWFP
would make a lot of difference as this would assist downstream as well
as vender industries to grow, which in turn, ease the present
unemployment situation in the province.
PROMOTION OF COMPETITION
A draft law meant to promote competition in
Pakistan submitted by the Monopoly Control Authority (MCA) has been
lying with the Ministry of Finance for more than a year to the
detriment of Pakistani public, according to a reliable source.
The proposed law will replace the Monopolies &
Restrictive Trade Practices Ordinance 1970 (MRTP) under which the
Authority was created in the wake of country-wide agitation against,
among other issues, the stranglehold of monopolies in the country.
PMDC TO BEGIN EXPLORATION IN NAS
Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC)
will take necessary measures for exploration of minerals and gemstones
in Northern Areas in the light of previous studies conducted in the
ICP MUTUAL FUNDS
Twelve Expressions of Interest (EoIs) have been
received by the Privatization Commission (PC) from different local and
foreign parties for acquiring as one lot the management rights of ICP
Mutual Funds from Investment Corporation of Pakistan.
PAKISTAN, US SET UP ECONOMIC FORUM
Pakistani and US officials discussed economic and
financial issues at a meeting at the Treasury Department on Friday,
and signed a Memorandum of Understanding formally setting up a joint
The MoU was signed by Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz
and US Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, and the two led their
respective delegations in talks that followed the signing ceremony.