INDUSTRY

 

July 15 - 21, 2002

 

1.INTERNATIONAL

2. INDUSTRY

3. FINANCE

4. POLICY

5. TRADE

6. GULF

 

WB BOARD OKAYS $236.5M UNDER CAS

The Board of Directors of the World Bank has approved four projects totalling $236.5 million to support Pakistan's 30-month old reform programme, which is in line with the country's Poverty Reduction Strategy and the World Bank's new Country Assistance Strategy (CAS).

 

The four projects are: the Sindh and North West Frontier Province (NWFP) structural adjustment credits, the community infrastructure and services project credit for Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and the Banking Sector Technical Assistance (TA) credit. These projects underpin Pakistan's ongoing economic and structural reforms, which are aimed at poverty reduction by engendering growth, improving governance and human development, improving social service delivery and enhancing social protection and employment opportunities.

According to an announcement made by the World Bank local office on Wednesday, the government of Pakistan launched a national reform programme in December 1999. Since then it has implemented a number of reforms, including improvements in governance, tighter fiscal controls and increased attention to social service delivery.

"The four operations we presented today support the government's Poverty Reduction Strategy and its deep commitment to governance reforms that we have seen progressing for well over two years now," said John Wall, Country Director for Pakistan.

"It is at the provincial level where basic service delivery happens and where poverty reduction programmes can have their sharpest impact. Pakistan's provinces have suffered from poor governance and a lack of fiscal capacity. Today's structural adjustment operations help the government of Pakistan take its federal reform commitment to this provincial level," he added.

The Sindh and NWFP Structural Adjustment credits, $100 and $90 million respectively, support improvements in public finances, governance and financial regulatory frameworks.

OPI FAILS TO MEET DRILLING TARGET

The government has warned a US-based petroleum company that it would be liable to heavy liquidity damages unless it completed the drilling of 19 exploration wells in Sindh province before end of this year.

Informed sources told that petroleum ministry has written to the Orient Petroleum Inc (OPI) that it was already in default for not meeting last year's work target under the petroleum concession agreement (PCA).

These sources said that under the agreement OPI was required to complete drilling of 19 wells before December 2002. These included 12 exploratory wells in Mirpur Khas block and seven wells in Khipro block, both in the Sindh province.

Of these, the company was obligated to drill four exploratory wells last years i.e. before December 2001 and 15 before December 2002.

ARMS MANUFACTURING

President Gen Pervez Musharraf directed the ministry of defence on Tuesday to get the private sector involved in defence arms manufacturing and export.

He visited the Defence Export Promotion Organization (DEPO) and its display centre established next to the General Headquarters, Rawalpindi. The president particularly appreciated the export activities of the private sector and said that it was in the interest of the country and the armed forces that the private sector should be more involved in defence manufacturing and export.

DEINDUSTRIALIZATION

De-industrialization process in Sindh has picked up considerably, affecting job opportunities in the urban areas, where an official survey has found employment dropping by another 2.5 per cent during nine months of the outgoing fiscal year.

CIRC TO DISPOSE OF RS14.3BN NPAS

The Corporate & Industrial Restructuring Corporation would assume another 131 non-performing assets (NPAs) worth Rs14.399 billion of three development finance institutions and banks in the second phase of its operations.

This was stated by CIRC chairman Javed Hamid at a briefing after the board meeting on Saturday. The meeting was presided over Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz.

The CIRC will assume 54 NPAs worth Rs7.78 billion of IDBP, 22 worth Rs1.278 billion of NBP and 55 worth Rs5.34 billion of HBL.

GOVT LIKELY TO BUY 50,000 TONS SUGAR FROM MILLS

The government is considering to buy around 50,000 tons sugar from the mills at market price to help them in reducing the surplus stocks.

Well-placed sources told that the proposal is being under consideration following the demand made by Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) seeking temporary bridge financing for sugar export.

According to the sources, the sugar will be exported to Afghanistan under suppliers credit.

SINDH DRAWS MORE WATER THAN ITS SHARE: PUNJAB

Punjab on Wednesday accused Sindh of drawing more water than its share from the national pool and remodelling its canals without the Irsa certification.

In a letter to Indus River System Authority (Irsa), Punjab claimed that Sindh has been drawing more water from river Indus than its due share since the country came out of the water shortage problem a few weeks ago.