It stressed that the central task for the
new government would be to deal resolutely with the remaining challenges
by further broadening and deepening the reform effort in the future.
However, it warned that a high public debt continues
to prevent critical investments, says a report released by the Fund
after their annual consultations with Pakistan following clearance of
dollar 144 million tranche. A number of directors also urged the
authorities to continue exploring the possibility of savings on defence
"Important, in this regard, will be continued
strong efforts to explain the rationale for reform to the population,
and further sustained improvements in governance and the delivery of
social services," the directors said.
They described the proposed macro-economic policy mix
for the near future as appropriate and observed that "monetary
policy will be geared toward keeping inflation low within the current
flexible exchange rate system and continued fiscal adjustment will aim
at further improving public debt dynamics."
Monetary and price developments, the directors
warned, would need to be kept under close watch and the authorities
should be ready to consider a moderate tightening of monetary policy if
needed. Most directors saw merit in continued sterilized intervention to
contain the real appreciation of the Pakistani rupee in the face of
continuous strong capital inflows.
Some directors, however, cautioned that this was
unlikely to be a solution over the longer term and that
competition-enhancing structural measures were a more effective approach
to deal with upward pressures on the external value of the currency.
BOARD ON ISLAMIC FINANCING LAUNCHED
The Islamic Development Bank and 10 Muslim countries
signed an agreement to launch the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB),
which will create awareness about the formation of Islamic way of
investment, banking, capital market and other financial instruments.
With the launching of the IFSB, Malaysia has become a
regional Islamic financial hub.
Central banks from 10 founding members — Pakistan,
Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon,
United Arab Emirates and Sudan — as well as the IDB signed the
State Bank Governor Dr Ishrat Hussain represented
PAKISTAN, US SIGN $10M PACT FOR NATURAL SCIENCES
Pakistan and the United States signed a joint
operating arrangement (JOA) worth $10 million for scientists'
cooperation in the field of natural sciences.
The arrangement has been designed to further
cooperation among scientists of the two countries in the areas of
significant mutual interest with a focus on collection, evaluation and
exchange of germplasm, plant genomics, plant biotechnology, stress
biology, bio-informatics, application of information technology in
agriculture, identification and control of animal and plant diseases,
dryland/sustainable agriculture production systems,
biotechnology/microbiology and agribusiness development.
SBP NOT TO FORGO REGULATORY POWERS
The governor, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Dr.
Ishrat Hussain said there is no immediate plan to transfer SBP's
regulatory and supervisory powers for banking institutions to any other
Speaking as chief guest at a seminar on
"Pakistan Market Agenda", jointly organized by Federation of
Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and Institute of
Research for Economic.
SSGC FINALIZING TARIFF STRUCTURE
Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGC) is finalizing
a "gas tariff rationalization plan," under a market base
structure to facilitate and help the poor domestic consumers.
Newly appointed managing director of SSGC, Munawwar
Baseer Ahmed informed a press conference at the SSGC head office that
this tariff rationalization was being done on the government
NEW BADLA PROCEDURE
In a series of three separate announcements, the
Karachi Stock Exchange stipulated change in prevailing COT (badla)
procedures; reduction of weightage of KESC in KSE indices and cautioned
investors not to deal with unauthorized investment advisors.
TIME-BOUND TARIFF RELIEF OFFERED
The chairman, National Tariff Commission (NTC), Dr
Faizullah Khilji directed the electronics industry to specifically
submit a time-bound plan for dispensing with dependency on tariff
protection within the shortest possible period.
GOVT MOVE TO CURB
The government is likely to take a number of steps
for curbing the menace of unabated smuggling causing huge losses to the
national kitty annually, a senior official told.
The strict measure has already been worked out, which
would be presented before the future democratic cabinet for its final
approval before it was implemented.
The decision was taken following the repeated demands
from the industries seeking protection against the smuggled goods
thriving in local markets causing losses to the local production.
HBL IPO ONLY AFTER SELL-OFF: PRESIDENT
Pakistan's government will first sell a major stake
in Habib Bank Ltd, the country's second largest bank, and then launch an
initial public offering on the Karachi Stock Exchange, the bank's
"There's no immediate plan for an IPO,"
Zakir Mahmood told Dow Jones Newswires, confirming reports that a
long-awaited 10 per cent share offering has been shelved in favour of a