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

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TRADE

June 03 - 09, 2002

IMPORTS FROM INDIA DECLINE BY 12 PER CENT

Pakistan's import from India has declined by over 12 per cent during the July-March period of the current financial year in comparison to the same period last year.

Official sources told that the suspension of air, Samjhota train and bus services between the two states since January 1, 2002, resulted in decline of bilateral trade. It may be added that freight trains are in operation even after the suspension of air, bus and road links.

Officials were of the opinion that the prevailing tension at the borders could further deteriorate the bilateral trade between the two countries.

On the other hand, Pakistan's export to India had registered a growth of 7.38 per cent during the July-December period of the current financial year to Rs1.802 billion against Rs1.678 billion during the same period last year.

While imports from India increased by 17.87 per cent to Rs6.383 billion during the first six months of the current financial year against Rs5.415 billion during the same period last year.

Official document available showed that Pakistan's imports from India during the July-March period stood at Rs8.479 billion this year against Rs9.662 billion during the same period last year, showing a decline of 12.24 per cent.

And during March this year imports from India declined by 33.01 per cent to Rs964.066 million against Rs1,439.158 million during the same month last year.

On the other hand, Pakistan's total exports to India registered a marginal growth of 1.67 per cent to Rs2.509 billion during the July-March period of the current financial year against Rs2.468 billion during the same period last year.

On monthly basis, exports to India declined by 21.61 per cent during March this year to Rs200.697 million against Rs256.041 million during the same month last year.

SINDH TO SET UP EXPORT DESK

Sindh governor Mohammadmian Soomro has said on Tuesday, an 'export desk' will be set up at provincial level which will serve as one-window facility for addressing exporters problems they face in different departments.

He said that no country could sustain its economy without having aggressive trade beyond its geographical boundaries and capturing markets around the world and maintain them is a difficult task.

The governor during his visit to Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association (PHMA) house assured that all out efforts would be made to resolve problems confronting export trade. He said only higher exports could rid the country of debt burden and manage its budget deficit.

DRAWBACK RATES REVISION UNDER STUDY

The government is considering to revise the duty drawback rates on export of textile products downward from the next financial year.

Official sources in the Central Board of Revenue(CBR) told that in consultation with the All Pakistan Textile Manufacturing Association (Aptma), the tax authorities were working out new duty drawback rates mainly on viscose, acrylic, nylons, modals and lycra.

The official said that the decision was taken with a view to rationalising the same in accordance with the latest incidence of import duties and customs and freight values of the input materials.

EDIBLE OIL IMPORTS MAY FALL BY 20PC

Pakistan edible oil imports could drop by at least 20 per cent if the government goes ahead with its plan to raise sales tax on imports in the next federal budget, an industry official said on Wednesday.

Pakistan annually imports about 1.4 million tons of edible oil products, led by palm oil, mostly from Malaysia, to meet a domestic demand of 2.0 million tons.

BLACK TEA'S INCLUSION IN SMUGGLED GOODS LIKELY

The government is likely to include black tea in list of notified goods within the meaning of smuggling from the next fiscal year.

Official sources told on Tuesday that black tea was not included in the list of notified goods, which could attract the smuggling related provisions of the customs act.

Currently, the officials said that if a smuggler was caught, he/she could not be prosecuted due to exclusion of black tea from the ambit of notified goods.

WEIGHT, PACKING STANDARDS FOR MANGO EXPORT

Customs has implemented "weight and packing standardization" to prevent exports of ineligible items in export packing of mangoes from Pakistan. Officials said on Wednesday that the new rules will be implemented from June 1, 2002.

Counterfeit cigarettes, compact discs (CDs) and mobile phones were being exported for the last two years in the packing of mangoes to European destinations.

CHINESE BIKES INVENTORY BUILDING UP

Four assemblers of relatively cheap Chinese motorcycles are reporting inventory build up because the Sindh Excise and Taxation has stopped registration of these two wheelers for the last many weeks bringing a halt to sale.

For the last three months consumers are enquiring about these motorcycles in the market but cannot buy it due to non- registration of these bikes by the government department. A sizeable stock of these bikes are piled up at the showrooms.

PTCL SIGNS TWO PACTS (FINANCE

Pakistan Telecommunication Company (PTCL) has signed two agreements with M/s ZTE Pakistan and M/s Alcatel Pakistan. Under these agreements the projects would cost Rs1,379m for expansion of NDW Transit (national network), local exchanges, improvement of Universal Internet Access, Mobile coverage, international gateway exchanges to expand and improve PTCL services and installation of 240,000 new telephone lines.