This step was taken after a $184 million cut imposed
by the World Bank-led consortium owing to slow use of fund.
President Pervez Musharraf had decided about the
termination of plans earlier this week on the recommendations of a
special committee led by Agriculture Minister Khair Mohammad Junejo.
Out of 96 schemes on the NDP portfolio, 58 plans
would be continued while 13 projects to be continued with modifications
and 25 schemes had been deleted, a senior government official confirmed.
The committee had been formed last year when the
World Bank had curtailed its funding by $100 million, declaring the
programme as 'poor performing'. The GHQ also had raised serious
objections over unnecessary consultancies and ill-planned investment
portfolio (uplift plans), the official said.
He said the body had suggested drastic restructuring
of the 6-year programme including cancellation of a major chunk out of
30 per cent allocation for consultancies. The president had approved it
and put a complete ban on further studies, he added.
As a result of this restructuring, another $60
million funding would either be cancelled outrightly or diverted to some
other water sector projects.
Mr Musharraf had also approved reduction in the cost
of project from Rs31.4 billion to Rs25 billion, which is 20 per cent
less than approved PC-1 cost. The revised cost is 41 per cent, less than
the projected cost of Rs42.51 billion. This would have occurred if the
plan had not been restructured.
IMF CALLS FOR PIA PRIVATIZATION
The IMF has called for privatizing PIA to reduce its
losses and make it more competitive, says secretary defence Lt Gen Hamid
"We had recently met the IMF mission members
when they were here and told them that we are not against the
privatization of the PIA", he further stated.
Mr Khan who is also the chairman of PIA told a news
conference on Monday that a number of steps had been taken to improve
the performance of the organization. However, he said the PIA management
will welcome some organized disinvestment of the national airlines.
LABOUR POLICY AWAITS APPROVAL
The draft labour policy, 2002, is ready for quite
some time and has accordingly been referred to the federal cabinet for
approval, sources in the Ministry of Labour told.
Similarly, the draft industrial relations ordinance,
2002, which is to replace the earlier piece of law enforced by Air
Marshal Noor Khan when he was the Governor of West Pakistan in 1969, has
also been finalized and vetted by the law department, the sources said.
The draft labour policy was finalized after
tripartite dialogues between the representatives of employees, employers
and the ministry of labour during the tenure of late Omar Asghar Khan as
labour minister, the sources said.
FRESH BIDDING FOR UBL
Growing confusion and uncertainty about the UBL
privatisation was removed on Thursday when the Cabinet Committee on
Privatisation (CCOP) decided to invite all three prequalified bidders on
Monday to offer their fresh bids and the highest bidder will be issued a
Letter of Intent (LoI) on the spot.
SALE OF GOVERNMENT SHARES IN POF OKAYED
The Cabinet Committee on Privatisation on Thursday
gave a go-ahead to the Privatisation Commission (PC) to disinvest 26 per
cent government's shares in the Pakistan Oil Fields (POF).
The meeting, presided over by Finance Minister
Shaukat Aziz, also allowed the commission to offload five per cent
shares of the National Bank of Pakistan with a green-shoe option of
another five per cent in case of over-subscription. Similarly, it was
also decided to put up for sale Lot 'A' of the Investment Corporation of
Pakistan's (ICP) Mutual Fund, Thatta Cement Factory Limited and Lyallpur
Chemicals and Fertilizers Limited. All these transactions are scheduled
to be finalised in September 2002.
BANKS URGED TO USE NEW TECHNOLOGY
Speakers at a seminar held on Wednesday urged the
banks to push for service-based technology progress to benefit the
The seminar organized by Transaction Processing
Systems (TPS) — a company specializing in ATM and switching
technologies — was inaugurated by Sindh Finance Minister Dr. Hafeez
Sheikh, says a press release.
WORLDCOM UP-TO-DATE IN PTCL DUES
WorldCom has paid amount due to Pakistan
Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) on time in June 2002 and the
payment for the next quarter would be due at the end of September.
Brokerage firm, Taurus Securities, quoting sources at
PTCL said in a report that the telecom management did not foresee any
risk of default, following the filing for bankruptcy protection (Chapter
11) by WorldCom.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has relaxed the
entitlement of Export Finance Scheme (EFS) for exporters of leather
garments and leather products.
A decision to this effect was taken when a
four-member delegation of Pakistan Leather Garments Manufacturers and
Exporters Association (PLGMEA) met SBP Governor Dr Ishrat Hussain on