17 - 23, 2002
FOREIGN DEBT REDUCED TO $36BN: ISHRAT
State Bank Governor Dr Ishrat Hussain has said that
the stock of external debt and liabilities had been reduced from $38
billion in October 1999 to $36 billion this month for the first time
in the history of the country.
Speaking at a pre-budget seminar on Monday the SBP
Governor said that the country had also repaid expensive commercial
and short term debt to the extent of $4.5 billion and contracted new
soft term concessional loans of $2.5 billion instead. The country had
also generated current account surplus for the first time in many
decades and had enough reserves to cover six months' exports. The
inflation rate had slowed down from 5 per cent in 1999 to less than 3
per cent at present.
He said that the government had not only reduced
the debt but also paid back $5.8 billion to the foreign lending
agencies over and above the total loans provided to the country since
The lending agencies provided $5.9 billion to
Pakistan during the period and received $ 11.7 billion in the form of
He said that the biggest quantum leap in the forex
reserves had taken place between July 2000 and June 2001 i.e, well
before September 2001. The reserves had increased to $ 3.8 billion
during the period. The pace of increase slowed down between July 2001
and May 2002 despite all the external grants, saving in oil imports
and huge inflow of workers' remittances. The reserves have increased
to $5.56 billion during the last 11 months.
He said that the impression that the Poverty
Reduction and Growth Facility of the International Monetary Fund and
Structural Adjustment Credit facility of the World Bank had not been
made available to Pakistan due to its support to the US campaign
against terrorism was far from the truth. Negotiations with both the
institutions had been concluded and documents circulated for the
approval well before September 11.
NWFP YET TO GET RS4.2BN HYDEL PROFIT
With the current financial year is about to end,
the NWFP is yet to get over Rs4.2 billion on account of net hydel
profit from Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda), according
"The financial condition will become more
serious if the province does not get the remaining payable amount from
Wapda before the close of current financial year," sources added.
As per the 1996 National Finance Commission award
the province is liable to receive Rs14.328 billion on account of net
hydel profit (from Wapda) during the financial year 2001-02.
Although for the sake of laying claim the
provincial government has projected Rs14.328 billion revenue receipts
in its current financial year's budget document, the province was not
supposed to get anything beyond Rs6 billion capped share amount under
the same head in line with the last eight financial years.
WB OKAYS $500M LOAN
The World Bank has approved a structural adjustment
credit interest-free loan of 395.5 million SDRs, or $500 million, for
This is said to be the largest WB loan received by
Pakistan so far, which was given a $350-million credit last June as
part of the structural adjustment program.
The new loan was approved by the bank's board of
directors at a meeting on Tuesday, and an agreement relating to it was
due to be signed in the evening.
The loan will go to support the Pakistan
government's structural reform agenda, and sectors picked by the World
Bank for utilization of the loan include governance reforms and human
PC WANTS MCB TO RAISE BID FOR UBL
The Privatization Commission is expecting the
Muslim Commercial Bank & Associates to further raise its bid to
acquire 51 per cent government-owned shares in the United Bank
Informed sources said on Tuesday that the MCB,
which currently did not have its foreign operations, could immensely
benefit from the acquisition of UBL's majority shares along with the
transfer of management.
CHEAPER CRUDE OIL SAVES RS6BN
The importers of crude oil, in July-May, netted an
unearned profit of over Rs6 billion due to 14 per cent drop in its
international prices — a boon denied to the public.
Analysis of the trade figures released by the
Federal Bureau of Statistics shows that over 6.42 million tons of
crude oil was imported at the rate, on average, of $171 (Rs10,548) per
ton, whereas during the corresponding period of previous year, the
average rate was $199 or Rs11,495 per ton — that is at 28 US dollars
(Rs947) per ton less.
CREDIT LINE FOR IDBP
The State Bank of Pakistan is expected to provide
Rs1.6 billion line of credit to Industrial Development Bank of
Pakistan (IDBP) before the end of this month.
SLCL, LEASE PAK MERGER OKAYED
The Board of directors of Security Leasing
Corporation Limited and Lease Pak Limited have approved merger of the
two companies with effect from July 1, 2002.
CDC SERVICES SHARES RISE
Number of shares in Investor Account Services of
Central Depository Company of Pakistan Limited (CDC), where investors
can have direct control of their accounts, had increased to over one
billion shares, CDC said in a press release issued on Monday.
RUPEE GAINS 15 PAISA IN KERB
The rupee on Monday gained another 15 paisa against
the dollar on the open market amid falling demand for the US currency.
The rupee was quoted at Rs.60.35 and 60.45 for buying and selling
respectively as compared to weekend Rs.60.55 and 60.60, progressively
sliding from its recent peak level of 60.70 and 60.75.
On the inter-bank, the rupee also stood firm, with
fractional either-way changes, although inter-bank call rates showed a
significant improvement around 7 per cent from the previous 4 to 5 per
cent, dealers said.