INDUSTRY

 

Sep 16 - 22, 2002

 

1.INTERNATIONAL

2. INDUSTRY

3. FINANCE

4. POLICY

5. TRADE

6. GULF

 

CANCELLATION OF US, EU ORDERS HITS INDUSTRY

It could not be easily claimed that one year after Sept 11, the country's economy has gained or suffered on a host of developments that took place thereafter, including war against terrorism in Afghanistan.

 

Though the economy for the last so many years was kept under oxygen tent to keep it get going, the 9/11 incident in a way, did help in gaining stability at the macro level with foreign exchange reserves swelling to over $7.5 billion, current account balance showing improvement of $2.7 billion from $0.3 billion of previous year because of significant rise recorded in overseas remittances that crossed $2.4 billion mark, and grants and loans from multilateral agencies.

But it is most unfortunate that the much needed and desired results at micro level of the economy could not be witnessed where problems are still as grim as they had been ever before. There is unprecedented unemployment in the country, the cost of living is going higher on each passing day because of rising trend in POL prices and utilities resulting in high cost of manufactured goods, thus giving a crippling blow to the middle class.

Being a single crop (cotton) economy the textile industry is the largest industrial sector of the economy contributing over 65 per cent to exports and 38 per cent to the employment and nearly nine per cent to the GDP.

The new investment being made in the textile industry for Balancing, Modernization and Replacement (BMR) and at some places for expansion as well has been going on for last three years, and it has nothing to do with 9/11 incident. The removal of textile quotas by the year 2005 as a matter of fact compelled textile industry to upgrade its plants and machinery to produce quality textile goods at competitive prices, meeting the challenges of open market competition.

NWFP MOVES TO REVIVE GADOON UNITS

The NWFP Finance Minister Farid Rehman has said that the matter regarding the restoration of incentives to Gadoon Industrial Estate would be taken up with the federal government.

This he said while presiding over the NWFP Cabinet's Sub- Committee on Gadoon Industrial Estate on Thursday.

The committee recommended to the provincial government to facilitate viable industrial units and develop infrastructure facilities such as construction of roads, hospitals, labour colonies, firebrigade facility, etc.

The meeting was also attended by NWFP Minister for Industries, Mohsin Aziz, District Nazim Swabi, Sher Zaman Sher, Additional Chief Secretary NWFP, Secretary Industries, DCO Swabi and other concerned authorities.

ECONOMY'S RATING POSITIVE

Top sovereign rating agencies on Monday reaffirmed positive outlook for Pakistan's economy while expressing concern over the transition period and continuity of reform process.

Following a meeting with Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz, the Moody's rating agency reaffirmed its "B-3" rating and the Standard and Poor, "B".

Aziz told that the rating agencies were "appreciative of Pakistan's reform agenda and the improvement in the macro-economic situation which was reflected in the ratings."

INFLATION ON RISE

Inflation in terms of Consumer Price Index (CPI) moved up by 3.82 per cent in July-August 2002, over the corresponding period of previous year, reports Federal Bureau of Statistics.

In its monthly release on Thursday, the FBS further stated that the Sensitive Price Index (SPI) had spiralled by 5.17pc, while the increase in Wholesale Price Index (WPI) was of 2.86pc.

PARC TO GET RS445M

Pakistan Agricultural Research Council will get Rs445m during 2002-03, about 23 per cent more than its allocation for the previous year.

The new allocation will rectify a major distortion vis-a-vis the apex farm research body of Pakistan that it raises by more than 100 per cent the provision for operational activities to 33 per cent. Out of a total allocation of Rs362 million last year, the council was left with only Rs62 million (over 20%) for its substantive research activities.

CONSUMER DURABLES INDUSTRY GETS BOOST

What took place in New York and Washington on 9/11 and afterwards in Afghanistan proved to be a blessing in disguise for the multi-billion rupee consumer durables and home appliances industry, especially for the manufacturers of air-conditioners and televisions, in Punjab.

"The sales of local items have gone up considerably because of better vigilance on the country's western borders and termination of the Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) in the aftermath of 9/11," says a manufacturer of air-conditioners.

WATER LEVEL IN DAMS GOING DOWN

Water started depleting in major dams on Sunday in the wake of a decreasing combined rivers' flow and increasing requirement for irrigation. Official sources said the Tarbela dam level dropped by 1.4 feet when 27,200 cusecs water was released to meet the irrigation needs. The stored water dipped down from 7.3 million acre feet to 7.2MAF. The water level was 1550.6 feet as against 1552 feet a day earlier.

The Mangla Lake level came down as 3,300 cusecs additional water was released; the inflow was recorded at 19,700 cusecs and outflow at 23,000 cusecs. On Monday, the dam stands at 1205.8 feet against 1206 feet on Sunday.

JUNEJO FOR INCREASING PER ACRE RICE YIELD

Federal Minister for Food, Agriculture and Livestock, Khair Muhammad Junejo has emphasized the need to adopt modern techniques to ensure increase in the per acre yield of paddy crop.

He said while inspecting the new varieties of rice developed at the Rice Research Institute (RRI), Kala Shah Kaku, on Saturday.

He said that the farmers should be motivated to grow the high-yielding varieties of rice and utilize new technologies for increasing the per acre plant population.