May 20 -June 02, 2002
200 TEXTILE MILLS CLOSED IN US
About 200 textile mills have either been closed down in the
US or are in the process of closure, creating a big market for textile products
for countries like Pakistan, China and India.
Simultaneously, the US is emerging as a big source of supply
of the re-conditioned textile machinery and equipment, and local business
sources confirm of a few consignments of such parts and machinery has trickled
down in Pakistan during the last few weeks.
Three top Punjab based textile groups are vying each other to
enter into joint collaboration with a giant US bedwear group, and at least one
of them is reported to have set up a modern textile processing plant in Lahore
for this purpose.
The market reports suggest that a few Karachi based garment
groups are exploring some sort of production and marketing arrangements with
known American groups and departmental stores.
The US market for textiles that include clothing and other
products is estimated at around $65 to $70 billion a year. The US is also
exporting textiles worth about $20 to $22 billion a year.
The market analysts estimate about $100 billion export
opportunity for countries like Pakistan, India and China in the US and the
countries that buy US textile products once Americans quit textile business in
next few years.
"For a variety of reasons, the US is now getting out of
textiles," Textile Commissioner Idrees Ahmad told. He said that textiles
was a pretty capital intensive business activity that required constant
periodical investment. "Perhaps Americans find the return on these
investments too meagre and unattractive," he said.
The other reason for getting out of textiles is environmental
and the US authorities want textile units to be shifted to nearby South and
Central American countries where they believe human beings of lesser grade
RAILS FROM PESHAWAR TO KARACHI TO BE REPLACED
The Pakistan Railways, under the rehabilitation program of
its dilapidated track would replace the entire 1,760km track between Peshawar
and Karachi in the next three years at a cost of Rs11.1 billion, whereas the
doubling of the said track process was also under study.
Pakistan under a contract is purchasing 52,000 tons of track
from China as 13,500 tons have already been imported from Austria and
arrangements for the purchase of remaining 12,000 tons to complete the first
phase of track replacing project would be done with Rs700 million Islamic
Development Bank loan.
After the completion of rehabilitation track, the PR rail
speed would go up to 140kmph, 50km more than the present 90km an hour speed.
Work on doubling the 125km-long track between Khanewal and Lodhran has already
been taken in hand.
INVESTMENT IN TEXTILE TO EXCEED $500M
Textile millers expect that the volume of investment in
different sectors of the industry, particularly in the value-added sector, will
exceed $500 million by the year-end.
All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma-Punjab)
chairman Anjum Salim told that the "banks had disbursed a sum of Rs29
billion during 2001 to the industry".
The entire exposure in the textile industry at the end of
2001 stood at Rs150.754 billion. The traditional sectors (spinning and weaving)
has claimed an overwhelmingly share of Rs125.212 billion from the total
exposure. However, the priority value-added areas (apparel, knitting and
finishing) are "far behind the traditional areas with a total exposure of
TARBELA CAPACITY FAST DECLINING
Tarbela Dam is losing 100,000 cusecs storage capacity every
year and with that pace there will be no water available for wheat maturity and
cotton sowing after five years.
These fears were expressed by experts while talking on
Monday. According to them, 100,000 cusecs water forms the irrigation supply of
10 days which means that every year Tarbela will hit the dead level 10 days
earlier. The calculation has already proved correct as the dam had exhausted on
March 26 in 2000, on March 15 last year, and on March 6 this year.
GROWTH RATE DECLINE PROPELS POVERTY: SHAUKAT
Minister for Finance Shaukat Aziz said on Monday that
Pakistan has been experiencing declining growth rate for the last several years
due to which poverty has been increasing in the country.
This was stated by Minister for Finance Shaukat Aziz in a
statement at the inaugural session of one-day conference on current issues in
micro finance, read out on his behalf by Advisor for Economic Affairs Dr
Ashfaque Hassan Khan on Monday.
LSMI OUTPUT RISES
The Large Scale Manufacturing Industries (LSMI) registered
3.18 per cent growth in its production during July-March period of the current
financial year in comparison to the same period of last year.
Official figures available showed that during the first nine
months of 2000-01, the LSMI production increased by 7.61 per cent over the
corresponding period of 1999-2000. And the LSMI registered a growth of 0.45 per
cent in its production in the year 1999-2000 during the same period in
comparison to the financial year of 1998-99.
On monthly basis, the LSMI production increased by 6.35 per
cent during March 2002 compared to the same month of the last year, while it
soared by 22.44 per cent during the same month of 2001 over the corresponding
month of 2000.
Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) increased by 0.10 per cent
during the week ending May 16 with the rise in prices of 16 essential items as
compared to the preceding week, according to the data released by the Federal
Bureau of Statistics on Saturday.