INDUSTRY

 

Aug 12 - 18, 2002

 

1.INTERNATIONAL

2. INDUSTRY

3. FINANCE

4. POLICY

5. TRADE

6. GULF

 

7 NEW CHINESE BIKES SET TO ENTER MARKET

Motorcycle market is now set to witness a phenomenal change after entry of seven new Chinese bikes, giving consumers a wider choice to own two wheelers at prices ranging between Rs37,000-42,000 as compared to Japanese bikes at Rs70,000-80,000.

 

Another change in the market is also on the anvil in shape of arrivals of imported bikes as government has cut import duty on completely built up (CBU) bikes to 75 per cent from 105 per cent.

Chinese bikes, namely Hero, Qingqi, Pak Hero and Sohrab have already made inroads in the local markets a few years back. The entrance of new Chinese bikes is expected to further attract people from the middle income group who were forced to take a costly ride by paying huge money to own Japanese bikes.

According to president of Sindh Motorcycle Assemblers Association, Mohammad Sabir Shaikh, out of seven new Chinese bike assemblers three manufacturers have set up plants in Karachi followed by two in Lahore and three in Hyderabad.

The new bikes are Rocket NC-70, Star DS-70, Ginan JS-70, Guangta GT-70, Parwaz BS-70, Imperial IP-70 and Superstar SS-70.

Each unit has been set up at an estimated cost of Rs10-30 million after entering into a technical collaboration agreement with Chinese companies. Around 30-40 persons have got direct employment in each plant besides creating a large number of jobs indirectly.

Sabir said all the relevant documentation process with the government like getting of quality certificate from Pakistan Standard and Quality Control Authority, approval of deletion plan, national tax registration certificate, trade mark certificate, etc., has been completed.

IRSA MOVE TO AFFECT COTTON CROP

The Punjab government on Wednesday resented the Indus River System Authority's decision of reducing water supplies to the province "at this point of time" terming it "detrimental" to cotton crop.

In a letter to the authority, copies of which were also sent to President's Secretariat and the Ministry of Water and Power, the Punjab has demanded rescinding of the decision and listed harms that it could cause. The letter also enumerated flaws in Irsa's untimely obsession with filling of the dams right now.

The cotton crop in the province, the letter said, was at the flowering stage. Shortage of water at this stage meant shedding of flowers, which, once effected, would be irretrievable even if the rains came later on. Whereas, any subsequent rains could help fill dams. Precisely for this reason, it does not stand to logic to damage a standing crop for saving a crop that has yet not been sown. Farmers have made huge investments in cotton sowing but Rabi season sowing is still few months away. So, the Irsa must consider saving current crop, the letter demanded.

FOUR FISH HARBOURS PLANNED

The Balochistan Coastal Development Authority (BCDA) has planned to build four new fish harbours along the provincial coast at a cost of Rs240 million.

These harbours would be built at Gadani, Ormara, Pishokan and Pasni. The Gadani fish harbour would be financed by the BCDA, while rest of the harbours would be funded by the foreign donor agencies, including Forest and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Japan Ad.

Mr Mola Bakhsh Baloch, director administration, BCDA said $90 million (Rs550 million) had been sanctioned by the FAO and Japan Ad for the betterment of the coastal area of Balochistan, building of jetties and harbours, provision of pollution-free environment, enhancement of life standard of the fishermen and development of communication system along the coastal area.

KPT ALLOWED RS. 8BN PROJECTS

The government has allowed the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) to undertake five projects, including deepening of the existing depth of port channel from 11.5m to 13.5m to facilitate the arrival of bigger ships. The projects would cost around Rs8 billion.

According to official sources, tenders would soon be invited for dredging, which would start in September this year, and cost $20 million (Rs1.2 billion).

RIVERS' FLOW FALLS TO 30-YEAR LOW

The combined rivers flow dipped to a record 30-year low during the last week of July, forcing the Indus River System Authority on Saturday to reduce supply to provinces by 22 per cent aimed at refilling the Tarbela Dam.

An official of the water and power ministry said that Irsa had been liberal in releasing water to provinces during June and July. This liberal distribution brought down the shortage from the previously calculated 22pc to 11.8pc for Punjab and 12.6pc for Sindh. However, he added, it also created a problem as far as the Tarbela Dam filling was concerned unless Irsa changed it behaviour which Irsa did on Saturday.

COTTON IMPORT LIKELY DUE TO CUT IN SOWING AREA

Pakistan may have to import raw cotton again this year due to 8.9 per cent fall in cotton sowing area this year, as compared to 2001-02.

The latest figures received by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture & Livestock (Minfal) from the provinces indicated that the total area brought under cotton cultivation was 26,35,100 hectares as against 28,93,000 hectares dedicated to cotton in 2001-02.

The market has already responded to the likely shortfall in availability of cotton as evident from the current rates of phutti. Whereas its price had not been allowed to rise above Rs750 per 40 kg last year, this year the prices range between Rs915 to Rs925.