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
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
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
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
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
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.