08 - 14, 2002
LSM GROWTH SEEN AT 4PC
The government believes that the large scale manufacturing (LSM)
sector would grow by 4 per cent in fiscal July/June 2001/02.
"On the basis of the large scale manufacturing in ten
months to April 2002 we expect that LSM growth in fiscal 2001/02 would be around
4 per cent," says a senior official of Federal Bureau of Statistics.
The government had initially targeted 5 per cent growth in
LSM. But during the first three quarters (up to March 2002) large scale
manufacturing grew by only 3.2 per cent eclipsing hopes of meeting the annual
The third quarterly report of the State Bank commenting on
the LSM growth behaviour in nine months to March 2002 has attributed the
declining trend mainly to after-effects of 9/11 and the US-led war against
Afghanistan. But the report says that the prospect for the next fiscal year and
beyond appears to be less discouraging.
The textile sector grew by 4.26 per cent in the ten months to
April 2002 up from 2.74 per cent in a year-ago period.
Within the textile sector cotton cloth recorded the highest
growth of 14.15 per cent up from 12.14 per cent a year ago, the latest estimates
of the Federal Bureau of Statistics reveal.
FBS sources say the country produced about 460 million square
metres of cotton cloth in July/April 2001/2002 up 14.15 per cent as compared to
July/ April 2001. They say that May-June figures, that are still not out, would
show the continuation of the trend.
Cotton cloth alone has a weightage of five per cent in
overall large scale manufacturing sector. So a 14 per cent plus growth in this
sub-sector of the economy has a significance in LSM growth that has been
projected at 4 per cent for fiscal year 2001/2002.
Whereas cotton cloth grew impressively in ten months to April
2002, jute products; woollen and carpet yarn and knitting wool (all clubbed
together) recorded a heavy 11.4 per cent decline in production.
US-BASED FIRM TO INVEST $900M
FMN Incorporated, a US-based industrial company, has
expressed its strong intentions to invest $900 million in Pakistan in the
development of infrastructure and heavy engineering sectors.
Thomas A. Nevin, Chief Executive of the company who met
President Pervez Musharraf on Thursday told APP after the meeting that his
company intends to set up its business in Pakistan with an initial investment of
"We have come here to announce the intention of
developing widely diversified heavy engineering facilities in Pakistan," he
Nevin said that the investment will create roughly over 2,000
job opportunities from the level of management down to the labour which would
largely be filled in from within the country. "These jobs are tend to be
better jobs as they will be durable and in the high-taxation sector," he
said while adding, that the jobs will carry all the fringe benefits.
FERTILIZER OFF TAKE DECLINES
The off take of chemical fertilizers dropped to the level as
low as 2,196,000 tons during 2001-02 and about 26 per cent less than the
previous year, according to official statistics.
It was also the lowest in the past five years. During
2000-01, fertilizer offtake totalled 2,966,000, which was the highest in the
past five years.
Official sources attribute the dramatic reduction in
fertilizer use to a sharp decline in availability of irrigation water. Apart
from this reason, a major factor was the increase in prices of fertilizers over
the past year, as indicated by an analysis of statistics released by the Federal
Bureau of Statistics.
Of the ten varieties of fertilizers, the prices of nine
soared by 5.15% (Urea Sona)/5.26% (Urea Kisan) to 13.96% (C. Ammonium Sulphate)
within one year.
DOUBT CAST OVER SUCCESS OF ECONOMIC AGENDA
The banking sector is raising serious concerns over the
government's economic agenda in view of the October parliamentary elections,
collaboration with the United States and the possible militant backlash.
"Domestic social tensions exacerbated by the
government's collaboration in the Afghan war and possibility of a backlash of
the government's crackdown on militants raises serious concerns regarding the
government's ability to keep its economic agenda on track," said the Habib
Bank Limited's economic research wing.
RS35BN PROJECTS APPROVED
The Central Development Working Party on Saturday approved
projects worth Rs35 billion, including Lyari Expressway, Satpara and Bhasha dam,
an official told.
The CDWP meeting, presided over by Deputy Chairman Planning
Commission Shahid Amjad Chaudhry, was also attended by officials concerned of
the provincial governments.
The construction work on 16.5-km-long Lyari expressway was
initiated in April, 2002, which is scheduled to be completed in 36 months.
The expressway would cost Rs5.081 billion, with a sum of
Rs500 million having already been expended on it up to June, 2002. In the public
sector development programme, Rs900 million have been set aside for the project.
SMEDA ORDINANCE LIKELY NEXT MONTH
The government is likely to promulgate the Small and Medium
Enterprise Development Authority (Smeda) Ordinance in the next month.
Smeda chief executive officer Iqbal Mustafa stated this while
talking to reporters at the launching ceremony of a book on "Secrets of
electronic commerce — a guide for small and medium-sized exporters" on
He said that the cabinet has approved the draft of the
ordinance, which was awaiting approval from President Gen. Pervez Musharraf.
Elaborating the main features of the proposed ordinance,
Mustafa said under the ordinance, Smeda will have a full-fledged board of
directors, which would decide policy matters.