. .



The Privatization Commission prepared an elaborate but ambitious plan which was announced early last year. The process got some momentum but was almost halted in September. With the gains attained on the external sector and improved perception about Pakistan, the Commission is trying to compensate the time lost. The units offered for sale lately, have fetched reasonably good price. The other units being offered for sale are, PSO, PTCL, KESC, and UBL. Financial Advisor for the sale of SSGC and SNGPL was appointed recently. While the GoP may be serious, the response from investors has been luke-warm. In the proposed Cover Story efforts have been made to explore the possible hurdles and suggest ways to overcome the difficulties.

 


RICE
Rice is a valuable cash crop of Pakistan, which adds considerably to the foreign exchange earnings of the country. The average export of rice is estimated $500-600 million, it is however feared to register a decline mainly due to drought-led shortfall in the crop this year. The crop last year was estimated at 4.74 million tons, which has gone down to 4 million tons in the current season due to water shortage especially in Sindh.


WATER SHORTAGE
The persistent water shortage in the country is going to affect all crops, big and small. With the beginning of summer 'kharif' season last month, the two most important cash crops cotton and rice, are feared to have a negative impact on the agriculture sector as much still remains on benevolent rains to avert the looming crisis.


 

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