The federal cabinet in its meeting held on January
31, 2002, had already considered the policy package for CAF and time
bound action plan, subject to the modification that CAF would not be
declared as an industry.
The sources said that the summary was moved by the
Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (MINFAL) for seeking
approval of the cabinet.
According to the sources, the proposed policy package
for CAF included levy of zero-rated customs duty and exemption from
sales tax on the import of agriculture machinery and equipments.
The Central Board of Revenue has, however, intimated
the finance minister to reconsider the proposed package for CAF as it
could not be materialized following the commitment made with the donor
The sources said the CBR also asked for
reconsideration of the cabinet decision and exclusion of exemption from
sales tax on the import of agricultural machinery and equipment for CAF.
When asked about the delay in the announcement of the
package, a senior official told that the CBR had not supported the
proposal, on the ground of protection of local manufacturers, beyond the
extensive exemptions given at present.
He said that currently certain locally manufactured
agricultural implements were exempted from sales tax vide SRO 753(I)/98,
and the government agreed with the international donor agencies not to
grant any new exemption.
The official said that it was one of the
conditionalities of the International Monetary Fund to allow all the
time bound exemption to be lapsed after due date and would not allow any
more exemption on any other items.
INDUSTRIAL POL OFFTAKE UP 1.62PC
Pakistan's industrial consumption of petroleum, oil
and lubricants (POL) has increased by 1.62 per cent during
July-September 2002-03 to 4 million tons as compared to 3.92 million
tons in the same period of 2001-02.
Out of total six main POL products, consumption of
petrol has shown an increase of 2.5 per cent to 273,850 tons from
267,200 tons due to rising trend in car and bikes sales in July-Sept
period, says figures compiled by the Oil Companies Advisory Committee (OCAC).
Car sales in July-Sept period rose by 23 per cent to
12,880 cars as compared to 10,485 units in the same period of 2001- 02.
Sales of motorcycles (Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki) surged to 35,377 units
as compared to 27,614 units.
Auto sector has already asserted that the car market
is expected to grow approximately by 10 per cent in the current fiscal
PPL GETS PETROLEUM EXPLORATION LICENSE
The government granted petroleum exploration licence
to Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) in Attock and Chakwal districts to
make a risk investment of $12.5 million.
Under the licence, PPL would cover an area of 664.9
square kilometres over block No 3372-12 (Kot Sarang) which falls in
prospectively Zone 1.
PPL would carry out 2D seismic survey, re-entry in
Kot Sarang well and drilling of exploration well to the depth of 4,000
metres subject to availability of economically viable prospect during
the first three years of the initial terms of the licence.
WORLD BANK FOR LAND REFORMS
The World Bank is working on an agenda for land
reforms in Pakistan to raise agricultural productivity, reduce rural
poverty and realize the full potential of economic growth.
The key issues identified for these reforms by the
World Bank are "land ownership inequality" and "crop
sharing pattern" that account for "low farm yields."
GAS PIPELINE MOU SIGNED
Pakistan signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU)
with Russian energy firm, Gazprom, to pursue the construction of $3.5
billion trans-Pakistan gas pipeline from Iran to India and to enhance
oil and gas cooperation.
Under the MoU, Pakistan has allowed Gazprom to carry
out a pre-feasibility study, without surveying and mapping, of the
proposed gas pipeline which has to pass through Pakistan's naval
territory, a senior government official told.
ADB OKAYS $0.48M TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a
technical assistance (TA) grant worth $0.48 million to strengthen
portfolio performance and monitoring capacity of the Planning and
Development Division and Departments of the Federal and Provincial
The government's development investment programme has
increased substantially over the years both in terms of finance and
number of projects in the portfolio.
CARPET OUTPUT DROPS BY 40PC
Carpet production in Pakistan has dropped by about 40
per cent since September 11, 2001 as a result of majority of Afghan
weavers repatriation, say exporters.
"Some 70-80 per cent of the Afghan weavers have
gone back home in the last 10 months, causing a massive setback to the
exporters and the industry," the exporters say. Between 150,000 and
200,000 Afghan refugees were associated with the carpet manufacturing in
Pakistan before 9/11.
WB LINKS LONG-TERM GROWTH TO POVERTY REDUCTION
The World Bank has suggested a four-pronged recipe
for the new government to overcome poverty and trigger economic growth
in Pakistan through creation of assets for the poor , land reforms and
improved management of water resources and public expenditure, including
In its latest report "Pakistan Poverty
Assessment", the bank said that if the country did not narrow its
social gap, its long- term ability to grow economically, alleviate
poverty and sustain its debt would be fundamentally compromised.