INDUSTRY

 

July 20 - Aug 04, 2002

 

1.INTERNATIONAL

2. INDUSTRY

3. FINANCE

4. POLICY

5. TRADE

6. GULF

 

FIVE VESSELS BEGIN DEEP SEA FISHING

Five medium-sized vessels, each having a capacity between 100 and 250 GRT (gross registered tonnage), have started calling at Korangi Fish Harbour (KFH) for deep sea fishing in the country's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

 

Though in total 20 medium-sized and 10 large vessels have been issued licences by the federal government under the Deep Sea Fishing Policy of 1995 as amended in 2001 but only five have so far called at the KFH.

The five medium-sized vessels, which began their operations early last month, have already made one trip by harvesting around 125 tons of fish catch as against the expected average catch of around 300 tons. However, Korangi Fisheries Harbour Authority (KFHA) managing director Iqbal Ahmed Turk told that five other medium-sized vessels were due by the end of next month, and all these vessels will only operate and make catch (fish) in an area between 12 to 35 nautical miles (NM) of the EEC.

The large-sized vessels having 300 to 500 GRT will operate in zone three of the EEZ of the country i.e. beyond 35NM, and in case they do not avail of harbour facility and land their catch at the Karachi Port they will have to pay $3,500 per trip as non-utilization fee to the KFH. Beside, each vessel will also have to pay one million rupees per annum towards KFH development fund, which would generate revenue to the tune of Rs10 million per annum.

Similarly, each medium-sized vessel will have to pay Rs1.5 million towards port development cess per annum. As a result of this Korangi harbour would earn Rs30 million per annum from 20 vessels.

The KFHA MD said that the harbour would only become financially viable if 40 medium-sized vessels were allowed to ply in the area between 12 and 35 NM, against which only 20 vessels had been given licences by the government so far.

HARDLY 22PC LOANS GIVEN TO FARMERS

An overwhelming majority of the private commercial banks inducted during 2001-02 in the credit disbursement to farmers have shown contemptuous disregard to State Bank of Pakistan's directive and have given less than 22 per cent of target loans.

Of the 13 private commercial banks, eight banks did not offer a single rupee loan to the farmers. Only the Bank of Punjab exceeded its target by about 118 per cent and four other private banks made just token loaning in the outgoing fiscal.

The eight banks that did not offer a single rupee farm loan in 01-02 are Bank AL Habib, Bank Al Falah, Faysal Bank, Metropolitan Bank, Platinum Commercial Bank, Prime Commercial Bank, Soneri Bank and the Union Bank.

Out of a total loan target of Rs2.5 billion given to all 13 private banks, the eight banks that did not offer any loan shared a total target of Rs1,535m.

SUGAR MILLS SEEK EXPORT OF UNSOLD STOCK

Huge unsold stock of white refined sugar are lying with the sugar mills, and until export outlets are found carryover stock could create liquidity problems for the crushers.

According to the latest production figures released by the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA), the mills still held an unsold stock of 1.231 million tons, well above the local consumption before the next crushing season starting from late October or early November.

"Even after meeting entire domestic demand till the start of next season sugar mills will still have huge unsold stock of around 0.3 million tons," PSMA chairman Ashraf Tabani told.

WATER SUPPLY TO PROVINCES CUT

The Indus River System Authority (Irsa), on an advice from the Army General Headquarters, has imposed cuts on the supply of irrigation water to the provinces with a view to replenishing storage at Tarbela Dam, its reliably learnt.

The water supply to the provinces has been reduced a second time during the past one week in view of the unexpected shortfall in the flow of River Indus and the resurrection of El Nino weather phenomenon which entails less rains, a highly-placed source at Irsa said. Chairman Irsa, Noor Muhammad Baloch, confirmed that they had reduced the water supply to the provinces, saying that "filling of Tarbela Dam is also a cause for concern to them."

SMEDA, PNAC SIGN MOU

Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (Smeda) and the Pakistan National Accreditation Council (PNAC) have signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote training and awareness for developing quality control systems for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

INDUSTRIALISTS SHIFTING UNITS FROM AJK

Azad Jammu and Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AJKCCI) has urged the AJK government to take immediate action against those Pakistani industrialists who had or were planning to wind up their units in Azad Kashmir after enjoying the exemption of different kind of taxes and duties for five years.

AJKCCI president Zulfiqar Abbasi said such industrialists were impediment to promotion of industrialization in Azad Kashmir and were also bringing the liberated territory's business community into disrepute by exploiting the facilities extended by the governments of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir.

ADBP TO DISBURSE RS35BN TO FARMERS

The Agricultural Development Bank of Pakistan (ADBP) will disburse credit worth Rs35 billion to the farmers during 2002-03, says its chairman Istaqbal Mehdi.

He told on Tuesday that Rs29 billion were disbursed to the farmers during the last financial year. "We may exceed the target of Rs35 billion for the current financial year to considerably help our farmers," he added.