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
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
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
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
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.
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.