INDUSTRY

 

Oct 21 - 27 , 2002

 

1.INTERNATIONAL

2. INDUSTRY

3. FINANCE

4. POLICY

5. TRADE

6. GULF

 

BOARD SET UP TO STREAMLINE FARM LOANS

The government has decided to set up "Pakistan Livestock and Dairy Development Board" to streamline agriculture loans and promote agriculture sector especially dairy and livestock.

 

A high-level meeting, presided over by Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz, also decided that Food and Agriculture Minister Khair Muhammad Junejo would head the new Board.

The Board would coordinate national and provincial efforts in different livestock activities to promote investment in the sector and work as one-window operation to make dairy and livestock as vehicle for poverty alleviation for small and landless farmers with special emphasis on women empowerment.

Shaukat Aziz said that dairy and livestock contributed 38 per cent of the agriculture GDP. Therefore, credit availability to poor for the sector need to be increased to alleviate poverty. He said that one of the best ways to attack poverty was to provide micro credit in rural areas to promote dairy sector.

He directed the ADBP chairman and management of Khushhali Bank to increase their credit portfolio for dairy sector for increasing employment opportunities and the development of dairy and livestock sectors. He expressed the hope that similar micro credit programmes will also be introduced by other leading banks in the country.

Similar board will also be set up at the provincial level. The Federal Board will have ten members. Provincial ministers of livestock and dairy, secretary Ministry of Food and Agriculture, secretary finance, chairman ADBP, president Khushhali Bank, and representatives of private sector to be nominated by the provincial governments will act as members.

EMPLOYMENT

Businessmen have started receiving pressures from the elected legislators to give employment and accommodate their recommended persons in their business concerns.

"I have received polite requests from three members of National and Sindh assemblies from Karachi to accommodate their recommended persons in my factory," a well established textile businessman confided with a request that his name and those of three legislators should not be disclosed.

Another businessman confided that a top politician wants a few of his recommended persons to be given jobs in his factory in NWFP. An elected member of Sindh Assembly from Karachi spoke of the pressures he is facing from his many voters to get them, their sons and brothers a job 'anywhere'. "On the very first day, after elections, I was handed over 72 job applications by those who came to congratulate me after Juma prayers," he disclosed.

INFLATION IN FIRST QUARTER ON RISE

Inflation based on Consumer Price Index soared by 3.79 per cent during the first quarter of 2002-03 as compared to corresponding period of previous year.

According to the summary of inflation rates released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics, the Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI), which is more relevant to the low-income households, recorded a quantum jump of 5.15pc in July-September. This was the highest increase in three years, as evident from 3.68pc increase in the same period of 2001-02 and 4.23pc increase in 2000-01.

The third measure of inflation, wholesale index (WPI) spurted by 3.22pc in the first 3 months of current financial year, compared to 5.71pc in 2001-02 and 4.01pc in 2000-01.

The data regarding September 2002 shows an increase of 5.11pc in SPI, 3.73pc in CPI and 3.95pc in WPI compared to corresponding month of previous year. The price spiral comes out to be substantial in September also when compared to August 2002: SPI by 1.04pc, CPI by 0.19pc and WPI by 0.59pc.

RICE EPZ TO BE SET UP IN SINDH

Sindh Governor Muhammadmian Soomro has promised to extend support for establishing rice export processing zone in the province between Karachi and Hyderabad.

He said the Sindh government would be asked to arrange proper piece of land for the proposed zone. The zone would attract international as well as local investment and also provide jobs to the people of Sindh.

Presiding over a dinner meeting, arranged by Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) with growers, millers and exporters, the governor appreciated the growing cooperation among growers, millers and exporters.

GENERAL TYRE

The General Tyre and Rubber Company of Pakistan Limited confirmed early this month that the company had executed a 7-year Technical Service Agreement with Continental Tire North America Inc. (CTNA), USA.

NFC AWARD LIKELY BY MONTH-END

The National Finance Commission (NFC) is holding its final session before the end of this month, tentatively on October 25 at Lahore, to decide resources distribution formula between the federation and the provinces and among the provinces.

NWFP TO MERGE SDA

The NWFP government has decided to merge the Sarhad Development Authority and Small Industries Development Board into an Industrial Facilitation Agency.

The merger would ensure smooth and viable industrialization in the province by providing the required facilities to industrialists and investors, said an official statement.

SELLING THE NEW LABOUR POLICY

The tradition of first announcing a new Labour Policy to be followed up by the necessary enactments quite sometimes after is almost as old as 1969 when the then Martial Law regime announced its new policy. The disadvantage of this procedure is that in the interregnums the machinery of law under the old scheme comes to a dead stock. Some such thing has happened this time also with the Labour Appellate Tribunal and the Labour Courts. This is also because the machinery of Labour Appellate Tribunal is proposed to be abolished by the policymakers.