POLICY

 

Oct 28 - Nov 03 , 2002

 

1.INTERNATIONAL

2. INDUSTRY

3. FINANCE

4. POLICY

5. TRADE

6. GULF

 

SELL-OFFS FETCH RS36BN IN 3 YEARS

The Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCoP), which met on Thursday with Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz in chair, noted with satisfaction that during the last three years , transactions finalized by the Privatization Commission, had resulted in privatization proceeds of Rs36.2 billion from 23 transactions.

 

Out of this, about half of the proceeds were credited in foreign exchange ($306.8 million). This was appreciated by the CCoP while reviewing the performance of Privatization Commission. This amply demonstrated the confidence of foreign investors, including overseas Pakistanis in the policies and economic environment of Pakistan. The major foreign investments came from the sale of LPG businesses of SNGPL and SSGCL; UBL and working interest in oil fields.

The CCoP also gave approval to the highest bid received for Investment Corporation of Pakistan Lot-B Mutual Funds.

The highest bid of Rs302.5 million for the management rights of ICP Lot-B Mutual Funds was offered by PICIC.

Disinvestment of Lot-B of ICP Mutual Funds and transfer of management rights to a quality investor was a corner stone transaction and will open opportunities for the transfer of NITL transaction, State Enterprise Mutual Funds (SEMF) of the ICP, it was stated.

The CCoP noted that in order to broad-base ownership of shares and to provide depth to the stock markets, the government had divested shares of MCB and POL worth Rs800 million through the stock exchanges.

In addition, shares worth Rs1.15 billion for NBP in the IPO and secondary offer were sold to the general public.

Five per cent additional shares of NBP had been offered for subscription recently and it had been oversubscribed four times despite the fact that shares were offered at a higher rate i.e. Rs21 per share. In case of NBP alone, 30,000 new small investors/shareholders had benefited from government divestments.

ECC OKAYS POWER POLICY

The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) approved power generation policy, 2002, to offset shortage of around 400-500mw by 2005.

The ECC meeting, which was presided over by Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz, believed that the new power generation policy would encourage and promote investment in the private power generation.

The policy envisages one-window operation to facilitate the investors. The objectives of the policy are to provide sufficient capacity for power generation at a minimum cost and to avoid capacity shortfalls; encourage and ensure exploitation of indigenous resources, including renewable energy resources, human resources, participation of local engineering and manufacturing capabilities; create a win-win situation for all stakeholders; and attune it to safeguarding the environment.

SALES PICK UP IN AUTO SECTOR

Auto sector has shown good results in the first quarter as car sales went up by 23 per cent, bikes 28 per cent, light commercial vehicles (LCVs) 28 per cent, trucks 92 per cent and buses registered growth of 48 per cent.

The car production in July-September 2002-03 increased by 25 per cent as compared to same period of 2001-02. An increase of 27 per cent was recorded in production of LCVs, while trucks and buses production witnessed a jump of 167 per cent and 52 per cent respectively. Motorcycles' assembly rose by 25 per cent while a drop of eight per cent was seen in production of tractors.

Figures, compiled by Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA), showed rolling out of a total 12,864 cars in first three months of 2002-03 as against 10,246 units in the same period of 2001-02. Sales stood at 12,880 units as compared to 10,485 units.

DUTY ON CNG KIT MAY BE REDUCED

The government is likely to reduce the customs duty on import of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) cylinder, kits and other machinery shortly, a senior official told.

To reduce the impact of withdrawal of duty exemption on the same, the official said that the government was expected to reduce the import duty on CNG kit up to 5 per cent.

WAPDA PROPOSE

The Wapda, in a policy shift, has opposed the automatic tariff adjustment (ATA) formula and asked the government not to increase six paisa per unit granted by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Oct 17 made under the ATA mechanism.

NRB CHIEF RESIGNS

President Gen Pervez accepted the resignation of Gen Tanvir Naqvi, head of the National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB), who had requested for relieving him of his duties.

An official announcement said the president had accepted the resignation of the NRB chairman. It said the NRB chairman was of the view that after the completion of the transition to the next government, he needed to focus on his personal and family matters in Karachi.

PAKISTAN, CHINA TO COOPERATE

Pakistani financial experts are prepared to join hands with their Chinese friends to develop a scandal-free management system. The two countries could also cooperate in enhancing their professional skills in the field of accountancy.

This was stated by the leader of Pakistan delegation of Chartered Accountants Mujahid Eshai, while addressing the second international seminar on 'Accounting Theory and Practices'.