13 -19, 2002
SSGC, SNGPL TO BE UNBUNDLED
The federal government has decided in principle to
un-bundle the two gas utilities, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited
and Sui Southern Gas Company, into marketing and transmission
companies for their ultimate privatization.
Official sources told that Asian Development Bank
has appointed Pricewaterhouse Coopers as financial adviser recently in
Manila for the restructuring of gas sector in Pakistan particularly
SSGC and SNGPL.
The restructuring of the two gas utilities is most
probably to be on the corporatization pattern of Wapda in which water
and power sectors were separated and power wing was unbundled into 12
corporate companies. No privatization in the power sector could take
place under this plan that started in 1995-96.
First phase of gas sector restructuring was
approved on April 12, 2002 by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP)
at a cost of $1.5 million.
Phase two, i.e. implementing the restructuring
proposal approved by the CDWP and implementing the marketing and sale
of the integrated or unbundled entities, was, however, left to the ADB
and the financial advisers, these sources said.
Under the restructuring plan, the two utilities
would be divided into a number of companies. This would be finally
decided after the financial advisor's report whether distribution
companies should be established on regional basis, or marketing and
sales and revenue collection companies.
Nevertheless, it has been agreed that there would
be a "common carrier" that would purchase gas from producers
and sell it to the distribution companies.
A third party access (TPA) to the gas network has
been introduced and an arrangement in this respect is currently being
finalized between SSGC and SNGPL that provides for the former to carry
gas belonging to the other.
MUSHARRAF, HARIRI DISCUSS MIDEAST, S.ASIA CRISES
President Pervez Musharraf and Lebanese Prime
Minister Rafik Hariri, who met on Thursday, expressed their total
understanding and unanimity of views on matters concerning the Middle
East and South Asian region.
Musharraf, flanked by the Lebanese premier, told
reporters after the formal talks the two sides discussed situation in
the Middle East and Palestine and evinced a common desire for a
peaceful settlement of the dispute.
The president said he also briefed the Lebanese
dignitary on the tension between Pakistan and India, and the Kashmir
issue. The situation in Afghanistan also came up for discussion.
Musharraf said the visit of Prime Minister Hariri
had provided the two sides with the opportunity to have an overall
review of what was happening in the South Asia and around the world.
OIL, GAS SECTOR SELL-OFF HITS SNAGS
The process of disinvesting the potential oil and
gas sector is getting delayed due to the reservations of the ministry
of petroleum and natural resources specially over the sale of mighty
Oil and Gas Development Corporation Limited (OGDCL).
Informed sources said on Thursday that the ministry
of petroleum was not even approving the privatization deal of Badin- 1
oil well, although the successful bidder had increased its offer from
131 million dollars to 143 million dollars as was desired by the
Privatization Commission (PC).
COMPETITION ORD 2002 IN FINAL STAGES
The government has decided to repeal the Monopolies
and Restrictive Trade Practices (Control and Prevention) Ordinance
1970 to establish Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) in view of
emerging post-privatization market competition.
Finance Ministry sources said that ministries of
law and justice and finance are in the final stages of vetting the
"Competition Ordinance 2002" to repeal the 1970 monopoly
ordinance. The law is expected to be presented to the cabinet for
consideration by end of this month, these sources said.
4 FIRMS IN RUN FOR CBR REVAMPING BID
The government will select one of the four
international consulting firms who have sent their bids for the
implementation of tax administration restructuring plan.
The multinational firms, who sent their bids to the
Central Board of Revenue included KPMG, Price Water House Coopers,
Maxwell Stamps and IBMFD. Of these firms, a senior official in the CBR
told, one would be selected for the task later this month.
SHAUKAT LEAVES FOR CHINA
Minister for Finance Shaukat Aziz left on Wednesday
for Shanghai to attend the annual meeting of the Board of Governors of
the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
During his four-day visit to China, he would also
be holding bilateral talks with his Chinese counterpart and other
important officials to increase trade and economic cooperation between
the two countries.
DR MURTAZA MALIK SHOT DEAD
Noted religious scholar Prof Dr Ghulam Murtaza
Malik, his driver and a policeman were shot dead by two gunmen in
Allama Iqbal Town, on Tuesday night.
EPB ASSURES BENEFIT TO SMALL EXPORTERS
Export Promotion Bureau chairman Tariq Ikram on
Tuesday said the bureau had improved the provision of infrastructure,
laws and other requirements to benefit the exporting community.
He said this while addressing a meeting of local
industrialists and exporters at the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and
Industry (SCCI) after visiting the site of Sialkot airport, export
processing zone, dry port and various industrial units.
The EPB chairman said that newly-introduced
"export finance guarantee" and "export soft-term
loans" schemes of the bureau were being successfully implemented
to benefit the small exporters.
EC RETAINS 21-YEAR AGE FOR VOTERS
The Election Commission announced on Monday it had
finalised the fresh electoral rolls on the basis of age limit of 21
years, contrary to the announcement by the president that the age
limit for the voters in the next general elections would be 18 years.