For the proper utilization of the financial
assistance for agriculture diversification and agribusiness development,
the official said a fact-finding mission of the ADB was currently
holding a series of meetings with the government agencies and private
sector to formulate a comprehensive technical assistance paper in this
The mission would stay in Pakistan up to November 7,
the official said adding during the period, the mission was scheduled to
visit Lahore, Multan and Karachi to study various areas under technical
assistance for its subsequent financial assistance.
Elaborating, the official said the technical
assistance paper was aimed at assisting the Pakistani government in
formulating a project to commercialize agriculture, develop agribusiness
and promote agriculture exports.
The mission was led by Senior Project Economist at
the South Asia Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resource Division,
ADB headquarter, Ms Al Tee Loh. This technical assistance, the official
said, was a part of ADB's operational programme for Pakistan for 2002.
The mission during the stay would undertake in-depth
consultations with government agencies and private sector institutions
to finally come up with a technical assistance paper.
According to the official, the possible indicative
areas for study under technical assistance and subsequent financial
assistance would be fruits and vegetables to be utilized for its quality
control, disease control, grading, waxing, packing facilities, training,
mango-sand fly testing and treatment facility and cold chains for mango,
apple and strawberries.
PNSC SIGNS CONTRACT WITH 3 REFINERIES
Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) signed
a "ten-year contract of affreightment" with three local refineries for
the transportation of crude oil to them.
Chairman, PNSC, Vice Admiral Tauqir Hassan Naqvi;
chief executive, Pak Arab Refinery Limited (PARCO), Dr Shahid K. Haq;
managing director, National Refinery Limited (NRL), Qaiser Jamal; and
general manager and chief executive, Pakistan Refinery Limited (PRL),
Syed Viqar Salahuddin, signed the agreement on behalf of their
Tauqir Naqvi told newsmen that PNSC was in the
process of acquiring two second-hand oil tankers and these tankers would
join the fleet within three months. PNSC will invest money for its own
tankers ensuring safe and timely transportation.
Under the agreement, PNSC tankers will bring around
seven million tons of crude oil for these three refineries in which the
share of NRL stands at 4.1m tons followed by 2.75m tons for PARCO and
0.5m tons for PRL.
HIGH RATE, LOW GROWTH MAY LEAD TO DEBT HIKE
Pakistan's high debt, low growth and high real
interest rate payments of eight per cent are a volatile mix that could
lead to explosive debt increases in near future, warns the World Bank.
A World Bank's draft report, "Poverty in Pakistan,
vulnerabilities, gaps and rural dynamics", obtained by Dawn, believes
that Pakistan's fiscal crisis has captured most of the attention of
economic policymakers. In the 1980s and early 1990s, the emerging debt
and growth crisis was disguised by substantial external flows.
These flows from international lenders and
remittances, dropped off long ago: official remittances from migrant
workers declined from over 10 per cent of GDP at their peak in 1983 to
2.3 per cent by 1996, creating the crisis atmosphere now surrounding the
national debt. However, the newly emergent crisis atmosphere surrounding
debt is matched by the chronic, but more silent crisis of the growing
INDIAN TATA EXPLORING ENTRY IN PAKISTAN
Indian tea giant Tata is exploring entry in Pakistan
market through Tetley Tea, a UK-based tea company acquired by Tata
Limited India about two years ago.
A report of Invest Capital and Securities, a local
brokerage house, released quotes a news report of Dow Jones according to
which the Tetley's discussions for a joint venture investment with a big
business group in Pakistan is in final stages.
Dow Jones quote senior officials of Tata Group who
disclosed that the investment would be through a joint venture with a
Pakistani local consumer giant Colgate Palmolive Pakistan, a strong arm
of Lakson Group.
ECONOMY PUT ON RIGHT TRACK: SHAUKAT
Federal Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz said that the
country's economy had been put on the right track, and this fact was
also being acknowledged by the international monetary institutions and
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of a three-day
convention of regional managers of Agricultural Development Bank of
Pakistan (ADBP), the minister said Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir
Mohamad during his recent visit also acknowledged the fact.
STRATEGY FOR DOMESTIC DRIVEN ECONOMIC GROWTH
A key concern of elected representative is job
creation to reduce poverty which can be possible only by speeding up
investment and industrialization.
The environment for investment is expected to improve
with the phased withdrawal of troops on the Indo-Pakistan border.
Soaring home remittances would raise purchasing power of a section of
the population and expand market for goods and services. Still, law and
order will be an impediment.
Pakistani and Chinese businessmen have entered into
several agreements to enhance cooperation in the textile sector. This
was stated by Anjum Saleem, chairman, All Pakistan Textile Mills
Association (APTMA) in an interview.