- Feb-03, 2002
Islamabad deserves credit for reforms
"The comprehensive economic revival programme
being pursued by the government is helping Pakistan in stabilizing and
improving its economy and integrating it into the international
trading system resulting in enhanced investor confidence."
The Pakistan government deserves credit for the
bold steps it has taken," said US Ambassador to the WTO in Geneva
on Wednesday during Pakistan's 2nd trade policy review.
Almost all the major trading partners of Pakistan
including European Union, Japan, US, Canada, South Korea, Malaysia,
and other ASEAN partners commended Pakistan's comprehensive
reorientation of its trade policy regime as part of its economic
A large number of WTO members took active interest
in the trade policy review and recognized Pakistan as a good example
of a country facing acute political and economic problems but
demonstrating unflinching commitment to its multilateral obligations.
The trade policy review body is an important
constituent of the apex trade body which periodically reviews the
trade policies of the members, to ensure that the members implement
their multilateral obligations under the WTO.
The Pakistan delegation was led by Secretary
Commerce, Mirza Qamar Beg, who, in his comprehensive statement
outlined the salient features of the Trade Policy of Pakistan.
During the review, the European Union recognized
that Pakistan's unstinting resolve to follow the path of open and
liberal regime was commendable despite enormous difficulties and
significant risks as was demonstrated by the severe consequences for
its economy and trade performance as a result of the war in
Election definitely in October: Musharraf
President Gen Pervez Musharraf has said that
general elections will definitely be held in October this year,
ushering in a real democracy "which will be fine-tuned and
adjusted according to our requirements."
"There will be strong checks and balances at
the leadership level," he said, adding that nobody will be
allowed in the future to give preference to his personal interests
over those of nation's.
Inaugurating a three-day Pakistan Human Development
Forum on Thursday, he said Pakistan needed thorough political
restructuring to establish true democracy which was so far
non-existent. "But this job will be done by my government."
NRB gives break-up of NA seats
National Reconstruction Bureau on Tuesday announced
the provincewise break-up of the National Assembly seats, which have
been increased from 237 to 350.
The most significant change in the election process
is the introduction of 25 special seats for technocrats and abolition
of 10 seats reserved for the minorities.
The introduction of technocrats seats and
imposition of minimum qualification of graduation for the candidates
was reportedly described by the NRB chief as the move to enhance the
quality of the lower house of the parliament.
The general seats of Punjab have been increased
from 115 to 147, Sindh from 46 to 59, NWFP from 26 to 32, Balochistan
from 11 to 14 and FATA from 8 to 12. However, the NRB did not make any
increase in a single general assembly seat of Islamabad capital
Musharraf to meet Bush
President Pervez Musharraf is expected to meet
President George Bush at the White House on Feb 13, it was learnt on
Pilcorp, TIB merger plan
Pakistan Industrial Leasing Corporation and Trust
Investment Bank will hold their EGMs on Jan 31 to seek approval from
the shareholders for the proposed merger of the two financial
Shaukat meets German minister
Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz met German Minister
for Foreign Affairs and International Economic Development on Tuesday
in Tokyo and discussed with her ways and means to boost mutual
economic and trade cooperation and other issues of interest.
Provinces to get Rs1.5bn devolution fund
Chief Executive Committee on Devolution on Tuesday
met for the first time to review the implementation of devolution plan
and progress of district governments installed in August last year.
The committee meeting, presided over by President
Gen Pervez Musharraf, was attended by all the four provincial
governors, corps commanders of relevant corps, Chairman National
Reconstruction Bureau Lt-Gen (retd) Tanvir Hussain Naqvi, and members
and think tanks of NRB.
The review of the implementation of the devolution
plan was the only point on the agenda of Tuesday's meeting, a source
ADB raises social sector aid
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has decided to
increase by 20 per cent its annual assistance for social sectors with
a view to alleviating poverty substantially.
"We have decided to enhance our present annual
level of 10 per cent assistance to 30 per cent for social sectors so
that the spread of poverty could be contained in Pakistan," said
ADB Country Director for Pakistan, Mr Marshuk Ali Shah.
Nine oil, gas fields