It will be further discussed by the ADB's Executive
Board which is due to meet in Manila on Sept 20," said ADB Country
Director for Pakistan, Mr Marshuk Ali Shah.
Speaking at a news conference on Monday, he said that
the ADB had moved rapidly to express its willingness for managing
resources for the gas project.
Now when the ADB is ready to offer funding for this
project the senior officials of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural
Resources do not think that the laying of gas pipeline from Turkmenistan
to Pakistan via Afghanistan is a feasible project.
When contacted they said that unless the situation in
Afghanistan was fully normalised, there was no hope of gas pipeline
project from Turkmenistan being undertaken. Nevertheless, they said that
laying of gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan seemed a viable project
which could also be extended to India.
Officials expressed the hope that various political
issues linked with this project will soon be overcome. They said the
Russian gas company, Gazprom, was interested in investing in this
project because of its being feasible.
"Once the gas pipeline project from Iran was
finalised and agreed, Pakistan could get about $300 million to $400
million annual royalty from India," an official said.
PETROL PRICE RAISED BY 10 PAISA
The price of petrol (MS 87 RON) was increased by 10
paisa per litre to Rs33.94 from Rs33.84 by the Oil Companies Advisory
Committee (OCAC) on Thursday. However, the committee has maintained the
price of high speed diesel (HSD) at last fortnight's level of Rs19.08
According to an OCAC's press release, the price of
high octane blending component (HOBC) had been raised to Rs38.40 per
litre from Rs38.33 per litre.
The prices of other oil products have been slashed by
0.23 per cent to 1.18 per cent. The ex-depot fixed sale price at 29
designated locations will be effective from August 16-31.
SBP WAITS FOR FURTHER FALL OF EURO
The State Bank believes that the euro at its present
value at 97 cents is too expensive. Central bankers say it would be
imprudent to purchase euro at this price and keep it as foreign exchange
A senior SBP official said that the real strength of
the euro is not more than 94 cents. "Let the euro come around that
level. Only then we will think about how much of reserves can be put in
the new currency," he said.
Recently the board of directors of the SBP allowed
investment of up to $750 million foreign exchange reserves into fixed
income US-dollar denominated bonds. The SBP is expected to make this
investment through a triple A rated global investment bank. The central
bank has $5 billion worth of foreign exchange reserves out of total $7
billion plus. The rest is held by the commercial banks.
SPICES PRICES FALL BY 8PC
The wholesale prices of various spices have started
showing a drop by three to eight per cent following government's
decision of cutting import duties to 10 per cent from 20 per cent on
According to senior vice chairman of Pakistan Kiryana
Merchants Association (PKMA), Jaffer Kudia the wholesale price of black
pepper has now plunged to Rs4,075 per 40 kg, from Rs4,200. Similarly,
the price of imported cloves has declined to Rs17,000 per 40 kg, from
SCHEMES OF MERGERS
Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP)
has cleared 14 schemes of mergers involving leasing companies, modarabas
and mutual funds as part of its efforts to bring about consolidation in
the non-banking financial sector.
FOURTH TRANCHE AND IMF TARGETS
Now that the IMF review mission has arrived in the
capital and started holding formal talks with the senior officials of
the ministry of finance, it is generally being argued whether this time
the Fund would extend the fourth tranche of about $120 million on
political considerations or look for any merit.
The present government was treated exceptionally
favourably by the IMF in the past for extending second and third
instalments, out of $1.3 billion Poverty Reduction Growth Facility (PRGF)
without meeting some of the important benchmarks, specially those
relating to revenues, fiscal deficit and the development budget.
PCB ISLAMIC BANKING COUNTERS
PICIC Commercial Bank (PCB), a subsidiary of Pakistan
Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation, plans to set up Islamic
banking counters at its branches by the end of this year in line with
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) directives.
SIX MILLION DOLLARS DEBT RESCHEDULED
Pakistan signed an agreement on consolidation of debt
with Finnvera Plc Finland on Tuesday. Under the agreement, Pakistan's
debt amounting to $6.122m as of Nov 30, 2001, has been rescheduled.
The amount is to be paid in 23 years including
five-year grace period at the interest rate of six month Libor for US
dollars plus 0.55 per cent per annum. This was the first agreement on
rescheduling arrangement signed with Finnvera Plc Finland under the
Paris Club Agreed Minute of December 13, 2001, said an official
Minister for Finance Shaukat Aziz on Saturday said
that foreign exchange reserves have touched $7.1 billion, and the
current account is surplus for the last several months, which ensures
country's economic security.