- Feb-10, 2002
Action plan okayed for sale of KESC
A high level meeting on Tuesday approved an action
plan for marketing of the Karachi Electricity Supply Corporation (KESC)
in March and to complete the deal by September 2002.
The meeting also approved the setting up of a high
level task force to be headed by the minister for privatization to
ensure adherence to the tight schedule to make preparations for the
privatization of the KESC.
"We have decided that there will be no further
delay and the KESC will be privatized by September this year,"
Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz told.
He said it was decided during the meeting that in
order to make the KESC financially viable and to attract local and
foreign investors, several measures relating to financial
restructuring, regulatory framework and smooth transactions will be
taken during the next six months. The marketing efforts will be aimed
at both domestic and international investors.
According to officials concerned the government
would introduce a new law that would allow the new buyer of the
organization to recover dues from the government departments and
hospitals without much hassle. The new buyer would be required to
inject $300 to 400 million in the corporation to make it financially
The KESC is almost 99 per cent government-owned
whose most of the debt had been converted into equity. A modernization
and upgradation plan is also under way with the financial help of the
Asian Development Bank.
Officials said that the government was also
planning to change the law so that future buyer of the company should
share its profit with the consumers.
IFC offers loans to private sector
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has
decided to offer $30 million to the Lasmo Oil Pakistan Limited to
develop Bhit Natural Gas Field in the Kirthar block in Sindh.
The IFC officials signed on Thursday two agreements
for financing the project, which included equity investment of about
$1.6 million for Micro Finance Bank.
Peter Woicke, IFC Executive Vice-president and the
Managing Director of the World Bank Group, said after the signing
ceremony that both the projects would have a significant developmental
impact in terms of realizing Pakistan's energy potential.
Ex-chief of Navy stripped of rank, benefits
President Gen Pervez Musharraf has stripped former
naval chief Mansurul Haq of his rank and military awards besides
withdrawing his pension and other perks and privileges.
The decision to strip the former naval chief,
convicted in several cases of corruption and receiving kickbacks in
multi-billion dollar defence deals, of his rank has been taken on the
recommendation of Naval Headquarters, National Accountability Bureau
(NAB) Chairman Lt-Gen Munir Hafeez told a press briefing.
Mansurul Haq would not be entitled to use the rank
of retired admiral before his name, explained the NAB chief.
No more subsidy on power
The subsidy to Wapda consumers with monthly
consumption exceeding 1,000 units has been abolished and they are
required to pay arrears in lump sum with retrospective effect from
This would increase the electricity bills of this
category comprising around a million consumers by an average 50 per
cent applicable since Aug 8, 2001, and payable during the current
In simple terms, the power bill of a consumer
paying Rs5,200 would jump to Rs7,820 — an increase of Rs2,620 per
month. In addition, they have to pay during the current month a
minimum of Rs6,000 price differential as they were being charged by
Wapda at old rates.
Federating units likely to get more autonomy
The thrust of the constitutional package to be
announced by President Pervez Musharraf most probably in his speech on
March 23 will be on granting more autonomy to the federating units, it
is reliably learnt.
The package, which is being finalized at the
National Reconstruction Bureau in a highly secretive manner, would
also enhance powers of the Senate, besides curtailing federal list in
A Pakistan-British Business Group comprising eight
businessmen members has been formed, which held its first meeting on
With Munawwar Hamid of ICI as chairman and Vince
Harris of Hubco as vice-chairman, the group explored possibilities of
building up what is being said "new and durable business to
business links" between Pakistan and Britain.
The formation of this group was announced at a
joint press conference of President General Pervez Musharraf and
British Prime Minister Tony Blair on January 7 in Islamabad.
Govt to buy 0.2m tons sugar from mills
The government has agreed in principle to purchase
around 200,000 tons of white refined sugar from mills for which the
Trading Corporation of Pakistan would be asked to enter the market.
In this regard a delegation of Pakistan Sugar Mills
Association (PSMA), led by its central chairman Ashraf W Tabani on
Tuesday, held a meeting with TCP chairman Syed Masood Alam Rizvi.
The quantity, to be procured by the state-owned
corporation, will be used as buffer stock as well for stabilizing
sugar prices in the domestic market.
WAPDA refuses to buy coal from Lakhra Mines
WAPDA has refused to buy coal from Lakhra Coal
Mines Corporation (LCDC) for its 150-mw coal-fired project over
pricing and other internal disputes, WAPDA sources told.
Instead, WAPDA has decided to invite open tenders
from all coal suppliers to run its three plants of 50-mw each of the
Lakhra Power Project (LPP), sources said.
Interestingly, WAPDA owns 25 per cent shares in
LCDC along with 25 per cent and 50 per cent shares of the government
of Sindh and Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC),