According to the plan approved by the cabinet, the
Constitution would be restored the same day on which the president and
the prime minister would be administered the oath. However, an official
press release quoted President Pervez Musharraf as having told the
cabinet that the NA session would be summoned soon after the results of
the elections to the reserved seats for women and minorities were
"There was no cause of delaying the summoning of
the inaugural session," the president said. He described the
post-election scenario as a great opportunity for the political
leadership to develop and strengthen the inter-provincial and
The president expressed the confidence that the
elected representatives would demonstrate tolerance, understanding and a
sense of accommodation for each other. Harmony amongst and within the
provinces, he stressed, could only be achieved through a fair
distribution of resources, judicious planning and location of
development projects and good governance.
The president apprised the cabinet about his visit to
Saudi Arabia in which he had held wide-ranging discussions with King
Fahd and Crown Prince Abdullah. There was commonality of views on all
bilateral, regional and international issues between the two countries.
The cabinet approved the second flood protection
sector project for immediate implementation at a reformulated cost of
Rs4.6 billion against the originally approved cost of Rs8 billion in
MUSHARRAF, FAHD DISCUSS ISSUES
President Gen Pervez Musharraf held detailed talks
with Saudi King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz and Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul
Aziz. They discussed the India-Pakistan relations, the Afghanistan
situation and the Middle East situation.
President Musharraf reiterated that Pakistan and
Saudi Arabia stood by each other in all circumstances and would continue
to do so in future.
The Saudi leaders congratulated President Musharraf
on holding the general elections. Prince Abdullah expressed the hope
that the newly-elected people's representatives would work for the
The president and the Saudi leaders expressed
satisfaction over the close bilateral cooperation in different fields
and agreed to strengthen relations between the two countries.
POLICY MAKERS DIFFER ON INTEREST RATES
The finance minister and the governor of State Bank
seem to hold divergent views on the immediate need to reduce interest
Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz said recently that
there was room for further reduction of commercial bank lending rates by
two per cent.
In an interview to a foreign economic journal, State
Bank Governor Dr Ishrat Husain observed: "We are not keen at this
very moment to cut rates any further."
The SBP governor supports his view on two counts: the
assumption that interest rates are the prime factor behind a contraction
in lending, is wrong. The prices have to be kept under a watchful eye to
ensure that these price adjustments (oil products and electricity) do
not translate into inflation.
The Auditor-General of Pakistan has pointed out
Rs4.56 billion worth of misappropriation in Wapda during 1999-2000. In a
report, recently taken up by the Public Accounts Committee and
reportedly submitted to the president , the AGP has divided these paras
into 10 different heads.
DECLINE IN JOBLESS RATE UNLIKELY, SAYS SBP
The State Bank of Pakistan does not expect any
"significant decline" in unemployment rate in Pakistan during
the recent two years 01 and 02 and points out that this rate would
remain unchanged unless "the economic growth and investment
scenario changes significantly".
In its annual report for 2001-02, the State Bank has
given unemployment rate at 7.8 per cent. "Estimates for the
unemployment rate in the current (and recent years) will not be
available till the next Labour Force Survey (LFS) is conducted,"
the report says but emphatically states that there would not be any
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP)
announced the creation of "commercial paper", a new financial
instrument aimed at broadening the money market.
In this connection, it unveiled its "guidelines
for the issue of commercial paper" as required under the financial
markets (non-bank) governance programme loan 2002-2005 offered by the
Asian Development Bank recently.
Commercial paper, as an SECP source explained, is a
short-term promissory note issued by corporations with a minimum credit
rating of A- for long-term and A2 in short-term arrangements.
RS100BN ENTITIES READY FOR SELL-OFF
The Privatisation Minister Altaf Salim said the
government has already privatised public sector enterprises to the tune
of $600 million to foreign and local businessmen, and more units worth
over Rs100 billion are expected to be privatised during the period
between November and March.
BUSINESS EDUCATION AND KAHUTA OUTPUT
The director of Institute of Business Administration,
Danishmand says IBA needs $9-10 million to acquire excellence in
business education and promises that it's benefits would exceed Kahuta
IBA's motto is to produce "leadership and ideas
for tomorrow" that has capitulated IBA students to important
positions in the corporate world in Pakistan, UK and the US.