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 1. INTERNATIONAL   2. INDUSTRY
 3. FINANCE  4. POLICY
 5. TRADE  6. GULF

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INDUSTRY

June 03 - 09, 2002

SINDH MEGA PROJECTS NOT TO BE IGNORED

The federal government is giving a fresh look to the Rs144 billion Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the next fiscal year to find room for inclusion of quite a few important mega projects of Sindh including the reactivation of Karachi Circular Railway.

Well placed sources in Karachi expressed confidence that the National Economic Council meeting, to be chaired by President General Musharraf next month in Islamabad, will approve a revised PSDP for 02-03 that would include many more Sindh based projects.

The PSDP for 2002-03 indicate Rs11.56 billion for 74 projects in Sindh which however do not include or are given less than demanded funds. Water resources development projects in Sindh have received highest allocation of Rs4.53 billion but sources in Sindh say that priorities are not correct. There is a demand to include projects which are more important.

Transport and Communication project has been given Rs2.82 billion, physical planning and housing Rs2.43 billion, science and technology Rs824 million, education and training Rs243.44 million, culture, tourism and youth Rs40.37 million, agriculture Rs71 million and industry that include rehabilitation of Peoples Steel Mill Rs285 million.

The sources say that the federal planners ignored all those Sindh-based projects of vital economic and social importance proposed by Karachi. All these projects are missing in the PSDP presented before the Annual Plan Coordination Committee headed by the federal finance minister which met last Friday (May 24) in Islamabad.

The sources are confident that the Left Outfall Drainage (LBOD) will continue to receive funds even beyond 2002-03. Budget document shows total indicated cost of LBOD at Rs3.34 billion out of which Rs2.31 billion were spent till end of current fiscal year and a sum of Rs850 million has been provided in next fiscal year.

FALETTI'S, PECO LAND SELL-OFF

The Privatization Commission has asked the potential investors interested in Faletti's Hotel, Lahore; PECO Badami Bagh land, Lahore; and Al-Haroon Chambers, Karachi, a property of Republic Motors, to deposit earnest money for these transactions on May 29 last date to deposit earnest money.

According to an official announcement, the Privatization Commission had invited the interested parties for participation in the bidding for the sale of Faletti's Hotel, Lahore, on 'As is where is' basis.

The Privatization Commission had also offered a plot of land measuring four kanals 10 marla and 34 square feet, situated in the commercial area of Badami Bagh, Lahore, accessible by roads and railway siding.

CHINA OFFERS JOINT VENTURES TO PAKISTAN

China has offered new trade opportunities to Pakistani businessmen to undertake joint ventures in its western region, Xinjiang. Xingjiang, a Muslim majority province may emerge as hub of Sino-Pak economic cooperation, with new opening establishing joint ventures in the fields of agriculture, light industry, foodstuff, textile, medicines and petrochemical industry.

A province, with a population of 18.46 million, close to Pakistan's border, envisages rich lucrative business opportunities for Pakistani entrepreneurs, said the Provincial Governor Abdul Ahad Abdul Rashid.

Unfolding an investment package for foreign investors, including those from Pakistan at a briefing, he said, "We offer to undertake joint ventures in the fields of common interest for improving socio-economic life of their people."

CLOSED UNITS MAY HAVE INCENTIVES

The government is considering to announce a package of incentives for the closed industrial units in the budget of 2002-03. Well-placed sources told on Thursday that proposals to this effect have already been made to make these industrial units operative.

The call of the day was to make these units operative to generate employment opportunities, save foreign exchange by producing import substitutes and to create exportable surplus, said a report made on the revival of closed units.

GOVT AWARDS ZAMZAMA LEASE

The government on Wednesday awarded the lease of Zamzama Gasfield for its development and production to a joint venture of BHP of Australia (38.5%), Lasmo, a subsidiary of ENI Group of Italy (17.5%), Premier-KUFPEC Pakistan, a joint venture company of Premier Oil of UK and KUFPEC of Kuwait (18.75%) and Government Holding (pvt) Ltd (25%) for a period of 20 years.

The lease was signed by Petroleum Secretary M. Abdullah Yusuf, Director General Petroleum Concessions G.A. Sabri, Managing Director of Lasmo Mike Buck, General Manager of BHP Francis Egan, Chief Executive Officer of PKP Patrick Bird, and CEO of GHPL Mansoor Zubair. The lease covers an area of 536 sq kms in Dadu district and the BHP is the operator of the field.

WAPDA TOLD TO UTILIZE FUNDS BY JUNE

The WAPDA authorities have been directed by the Chief Executive Secretariat to utilize Rs16.5 billion allocated for Ghazi Barotha Hydropower Project, Chashma Hydropower Project and Bahsha Dam by June this year in order to qualify for adequate funding in 2002-2003.

UNIDO OFFERS FUNDS TO SMALL ENTERPRISES

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) will give more participation to the Pakistani private sector in its future programmes mainly on transfer of technology in the areas of environment , quality standards and limited industrial sectors such as textiles, leather, fisheries, fruits and vegetable and jewellry.

This was stated by Director General of UNIDO Carlos Alfredo Magarinos during a meeting with FPCCI President Iftikhar Ali Malik and members of the business community, at Federation House, on Monday.