to the new prime
minister on first of the next month. "We
will go through the normal legal process after the elections includes to
hand over my administrative powers to the prime minister," he
added. "I assure you that the new PM will enjoy all powers. He will
be given a free hand to run his affairs without any interference,"
Gen Musharraf said.
The president added that he would accept the verdict
of the people as they were the final authority. "Any political
party which succeeds in getting majority will form the government,"
he said, adding that he and his cabinet colleagues would certainly
accept the outcome of this elections.
"After handing over powers to the new prime
minister, I would only play my constitutional role as the president of
the country," he said and added that the new prime minister would
do his own job while the National Security Council(NSC) would have its
The president said he would extend all his support to
the new chief executive so that democracy could be strengthened.
Answering to a question, Gen Musharraf said it would
be the responsibility of the new prime minister to ensure continuity of
reforms and consistency in policies. However, the president pointed out
that the new prime minister would enjoy full authority to improve
reforms. "No reforms are final as there is always a room for
certain improvements," he said. From Pakistan's development point
of view, these reforms and restructuring should continue, he emphasised.
PARTIES CLAIM TURNOUT LESS THAN 25PC
A low turnout of voters was witnessed in Thursday's
polls, as according to some political parties only 20 to 25 per cent
people exercised their right of franchise.
In the last general election held in 1997, in which
Pakistan Muslim League (N) got a "heavy mandate", the turnout
was 35.42 per cent, which too was low as compared to 1970 polls.
All the three main political parties — PPP, PML(Q)
and PML(N) described the turnout as the lowest ever. Siddiqul Farooq,
spokesman for the PML(N), said the turnout was as low as 25 per cent.
Farhatullah Babar, the PPP spokesman, was
non-committal, saying in some parts of the country it was better but in
others it was low. He, however, was certain that it was "slow and
In 1997, 19,903,172 electors, out of total 46,206,055
registered voters, cast ballot in the first party-based elections since
FALLING EURO WORRIES EXPORTERS
The euro has gone into reverse gear — and lost 2.3
per cent of its value against the rupee in the first quarter of this
This may lessen the margins of those exporters whose
exports go to the eurozone. So the exporters seem a bit alarmed not only
due to this but also because they are not sure whether the SBP would
continue to defend the dollar for their benefit after the elections. So
far the fall of the euro is concerned it seems too early to be worried
as growing conflict between the US and the Arab world and trade
consolidation process within the eurozone may keep it stable.
Bankers say the euro fell to Rs58.14 in the
inter-bank market at end-September from Rs59.54 at end-June this year.
This fall of 2.35 per cent in the value of euro mirrors the loss it had
to suffer after rising above the parity level with the dollar in mid of
RS8BN GRANT OKAYED FOR KESC
A meeting approved on Tuesday Rs8 billion additional
supplementary grant for the Karachi Electricity Supply Corporation (KESC)
to help pay off its liabilities to the Water and Power Development
The meeting, presided over by President Gen Pervez
Musharraf, approved Rs10 billion additional supplementary grants,
including Rs8 billion for the KESC and Rs 1.3 billion for the Wapda.
Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz told after the meeting
that Rs1.3 billion additional grant had been offered to Wapda to spend
more on Ghazi Barotha during 2002-2003.
PSDP GRANTED MORE FUNDS
The government has decided to increase the current
financial year's Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) from Rs 134
billion to Rs 144 billion to spend more on health, education and
undertake new development projects.
President Gen Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday presided
over a meeting which reviewed the performance of the first three months
of 2002-2003 and approved an increase in the size of the PSDP.
CUT IN PDL TO CAUSE RS678.6M LOSS
The government has taken a hit on revenue collection
for the second time in less than one month by reducing the petroleum
development levy (PDL) to mitigate the impact of increase in
international oil prices on consumers.
The national kitty will suffer a revenue loss of
Rs678.6 million per month in terms of two downward adjustments in PDL on
petrol, diesel and kerosene.
REFORMS MUST GO ON: SHAUKAT
Whoever comes to power after Oct 10 will continue the
economic policies of the present government, says Finance Minister
Shaukat Aziz. "Because it's in the national interest to do
In a wide-ranging interview on three years of
military rule in Pakistan, the finance minister insisted that
"consistency and continuity" were key to economic success
while fickle-mindedness would bring disaster.
He spoke of the challenges the military government
faced when it took over in October 1999, explained how it overcame these
challenges and praised its success but refused to acknowledge its