Jan-14 - 20, 2002
Agriculture export zone being set up in Sindh
Sindh government is setting up agriculture export zone, which
would be first of its kind in entire region of South Asia, and a piece of land
next to new Sebzi Mandi (new vegetable market) has been already acquired for
This was stated by provincial minister for Agriculture,
Livestock, Fisheries and Social Welfare, Hasan Ali Chanhio while speaking in
Bilmushafa programme of Radio Pakistan, Karachi on Thursday.
He said the provincial government had hired the services of a
Spanish consultant for developing the project, which was going to be announced
on 15th of this month.
Along with this zone, the Sindh government, he said, would
also be setting up Export Crop Estates in all the districts of the province
where only those crops would be cultivated, which were to be exported.
Responding to a question, Hasan Ali Chanhio said in principle
the federal government has agreed to hand over one of the three idle terminal at
Karachi airport for air-lifting of perishable goods but final decision had to be
He said Sindh province could excel in export of fruits and
vegetables particularly mangoes, dates, guava, and, to achieve this goal,
different management groups for each crop had been established.
Hasan Ali Chanhio said Pakistan is blessed with unlimited
natural resources that could be used as 'economic weapon'. "And the
agriculture is the biggest weapon of this country."
On changing market strategy from retail to institutional
sales, he said, the country this year earned $17 million on export of mangoes
compared to $7 million a year ago.
Despite acute shortage of irrigation water, the Sindh
province had good agriculture production last year, particularly of sugarcane,
cotton, wheat as well as rice.
140 sick unit owners refused relief
The sponsors and owners of more than 140 sick industrial
units have failed to convince the private sector dominated Committee for Revival
of Sick Industrial Units to get their loans restructured and rescheduled and
they have been refused any relief.
"May be many of them could be given rescheduling relief
for revival, but only after the change of the management's," a well-placed
banker, associated with the revival of sick industrial units, told Dawn on
The committee with an overwhelming majority membership drawn
from the private sector is meeting in the city again on Friday and Saturday to
discuss about a dozen more cases.
Cotton crop size estimated
Cotton crop size this season has been assessed at 10.4
million bales ex-farm by the Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC) of the
Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC).
The meeting was held on Monday at the PCCC. It was chaired by
M Shafi Niaz, adviser to the chief executive on food, agriculture and livestock
and attended by the officials of concerned public and private sector
Taking stock of the situation and the assessment made by the
provincial governments as well as other stakeholders, the committee unanimously
agreed to a possible crop size of 10.4m bales on ex-farm basis this season with
Punjab producing around 8.1 million bales, Sindh 2.2m and Balochistan 0.1
35pc looms closed down
Over 35 per cent power looms factories and other textile
ancillary units have been closed down in the city and its adjoining industrial
areas owing to continuous recession and escalating tariff of utility services
rendering thousands of labourers jobless.
A survey on Monday showed that majority of the powerloom
factories, and units of dying, calendaring, printing finishing, sizing and
hosiery manufacturing factories situated in Faizabad, Ghulam Muhammadabad,
Dogranwan Road, Maqbool Road, Canal Road, Sohailabad, Sadhar, Kokianwala,
Baowala and other areas had been closed down by their owners on the pretext that
they were not in a position to run their business due to serious recession in
the market especially after Sept 11 incident.
Deal signed for oil, gas search
The federal government has signed an agreement with Nawab
Akbar Bugti according to which he would ensure security of oil and gas
exploration activities in Balochistan as well as protection to the existing oil
and gas installations.
This is the first stage in the efforts for bringing to an end
a long period of uncertainty and inactivity as regards the exploration of oil
and gas in the province.
The wheat production target set at 20 million tons for the
current Rabi crop may not be achieved if the rains do not fall according to the
met office predictions , official sources in the ministry of food and
agriculture told Dawn on Saturday.
These sources, however, refused to give exact impact when
pressed to underline the likely decline in the wheat production. They said even
if the production target, as set by Minfal, declined, the overall impact would
be minimal due to the surplus stocks that the country already had.
230 flour mills close down
Ninety per cent flour mills in the NWFP have closed down as a
result of the government's policy of deregulation of wheat business.
As many as 230 flour mills, out of a total of 250 functioning
in the province, have closed down due to deregulation of wheat procurement which
unleashed cruel market forces rendering those lacking efficiency uncompetitive.
The flour mills installed in the NWFP were far in excess of
the total requirement of the province, Minister for Food and Agriculture Khair
Muhammad Junejo told.
BD pharma firm
A Bangladeshi firm, Square Pharmaceuticals, is setting up its
plant here at a cost of Rs100 million. "This is going to be first ever
investment in Pakistan's industrial sector by any Bangladeshi firm,"
Honorary Consul- General of Bangladesh, Qazi Humayun Farid told a news
conference here on Monday.