INDUSTRY

 

Sep 30 - Oct 06 , 2002

 

1.INTERNATIONAL

2. INDUSTRY

3. FINANCE

4. POLICY

5. TRADE

6. GULF

 

COTTON GRADING LAW COMES INTO FORCE

With Pakistan losing $350 million per year due to contaminated cotton, the government on Thursday introduced a law to follow international cotton standardization and grading system in the country.

 

Minister for Food and Agriculture Khair Mohammad Junejo and Commerce Minister Abdul Razak Dawood told a news conference that the President and the Federal Cabinet has approved the "Cotton Standardization Ordinance 2002". They also announced new premia prices for various categories of contamination-free cotton to be paid to ginners and farmers.

The law would come into force immediately to control the quality of the Pakistan's produce, which was one of the best but was being treated as B-grade and discounted by 4-5 pound sterling per bale in the international market, said Khair Mohammad Junejo.

The law, he said, was first put in place in 1994 but could not cover required stages of parliamentary approval and lapsed. The cotton standardization and grading capabilities have since been developed and five districts have been declared cotton contamination-free areas but this would now have complete legal protection.

These five districts produce around 40 per cent of country's total 11 million bales cotton production. These districts include Rahimyar Khan and Bahawalpur in Punjab, Ghotki and Sanghar in Sindh and Nasirabad district in Balochistan.

Razak Dawood criticized Sindh government for not implementing the cotton standard act despite repeated reminders but expressed satisfaction that contamination has reduced from 19 grams to 5 grams per maund in Rahimyar Khan.

IMF SEES SOLID GROWTH IN GDP

The economies of India and Pakistan should expand solidly this year and next but India needs urgent fiscal reform and should relax its archaic trade rules, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday.

In its twice yearly World Economic Outlook, which takes the pulse of economies around the world, the IMF downgraded global economic prospects and painted a generally bleak picture. But both India and Pakistan were among the few bright spots which won forecasts for solid economic expansion.

GOVT EYES 15M BALES ANNUAL TARGET

The government has set an annual target of 15 million bales raw cotton production to be achieved in 2004 to meet the challenges of quota free era in 2005.

This was told to a delegation of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) by Commerce Minister Abdul Razak Dawood on Wednesday.

The minister informed the Aptma that there would be no more permits, licences and sanctions and the industry would have to compete on the basis of quality, productivity and reaching out to the international market.

COTTON CROP HIT BY PEST, VIRUS

The cotton crop in the Southern Punjab region, one of the best quality cotton producing area in Pakistan, has been hit by sucking pest, bollworm and curl virus attack, official sources told.

Following this, the government has immediately banned sowing of all cotton varieties including BT cotton except for six highly disease-resistant cotton varieties, these sources said.

This happened at the time when cotton growing areas has already been reduced by 7.6 per cent than last year and stood at 8.8 per cent lower than the target set for the current season by the federal government.

SINDH, 3 FIRMS SIGN MOU

Sindh government and three companies of Australia and Canada on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to undertake Bankable Feasibility Study for development of coal deposits in Thar desert using Underground Coal Gasification Technology.

The MoU was signed by Sindh Minister Industries, Dewan Mohammed Yousuf Farooqui on behalf of Sindh government and Ian F. McBain on behalf of Middle East Link (Pvt) of Melbourne, Australia, Dr. Len Walker on behalf of PICT Energy (Pvt) of Australia, and Dr. Michael Binderman of ERGO Energy Inc, Montreal, Canada.

BALOCHISTAN GRANTED MORE WATER

Indus River System Authority (Irsa), decided on Wednesday that to redress grievances of Balochistan about water shortage during Kharif season, water will be allocated for Kachhi canal.

The authority also decided that the ministers of irrigation of province of Balochistan and Sindh should meet within next few days and address the complaints of Balochistan, an Irsa source said.

MORE MOTORWAYS

The government, after reviewing its policy about the motorway, has decided to construct more similar motorways as it no longer considered the motorway as 'luxury road'.

National Highway Authority (NHA) Chairman Maj-Gen Farrukh Javed said on Wednesday that the government was in the process of issuing tenders for another section of the motorway, starting from Faislabad to Khanewal.

WATER SHORTAGE LOOMS

Pakistan would face 36 per cent water shortage during the coming Rabi season from Oct 1 to March 31, 2003, according to the calculations made by the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) and conveyed to the provinces.

The Punjab, however, thinks that the projected shortage could be slightly less at 32 per cent. A meeting has been convened on 28th for finalizing the strategy to deal with the situation.

About the reasons behind shortage, an expert at the Irsa said that rivers flow is expected to be 10 to 15 per cent below normal this year. In addition to this, the country has also lost a storage capacity of around 20 per cent during the last three decades, he said. The total storage was around 15 million acre feet in the mid-seventies which has now come down to 12.5maf. Both these figures explain the shortage of water for the coming season, he added.