The two governments had already agreed last year -
under the overcharging aim of poverty reduction - to focus in future
on three areas, namely: basic education, basic health and renewable
energies, and this is where the new funds are being targeted.
Germany's commitment to renewable energies is part
of the pledge Chancellor Schroeder made in Johannesburg to forge a
strategic partnership with developing countries in the energy sphere.
Germany has long been involved in hydropower in
Pakistan and this year a soft loan of Euro 301.1 million from the
financial cooperation fund has been allocated to the financing of a
medium- sized hydropower station in the north of the country.
Euro 25 million are being targeted at health
projects, including the National Health Academy in Islamabad which
will benefit from the allocation of Euro 2 million (technical
co-operation) being provided for the training of medical staff.
This year, the German government once more agreed
on a debt-for- development swap with
The same amount in debt relief had already been
made available last year and will be used to introduce a technical
stream at more than 1000 secondary schools.
POWER TARIFF CUT BY 12 PAISA
The cabinet the other day decided to reduce the
prices of various utilities and, as a first step, slashed power tariff
by 12 paisa per unit with immediate effect.
"The cabinet has decided to give certain
relief to the common man by reducing the prices of essential utilities
like power, gas, ghee, sugar, flour, etc.; "Information Minister
Sheikh Rashid Ahmad told newsmen after the first meeting of the Prime
Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali's cabinet.
However, he pointed out, electricity prices were
being reduced by 12 paisa per unit for all consumers - domestic,
industrial, commercial and agricultural.
NEW $200M BONDS NEXT YEAR
The government is considering issuing new $200
million bonds early next year after having received better credit
rating from international credit rating agencies.
Official sources said here recently the Ministry of
Finance has contacted a number of global investment banks to sell the
new bonds on behalf of Pakistan.
"Most probably the new bonds will be issued
either in dollar or euro," said a senior official of the
S&P RAISES PAKISTAN'S LONG-TERM RATINGS
Pakistan's long-term foreign currency sovereign
credit rating has been raised to B from B- while the long-term local
currency sovereign credit rating has been raised to BB- from B+ by
Standard and Poor's Rating Services.
Standard and Poor's (S&P) says outlook for both
long-term ratings is stable. At the same time, the rating agency has
reaffirmed its B short-term local and foreign sovereign credit ratings
BANKS HAVE EXCESS LIQUIDITY TO SELL LOANS
State Bank Governor Dr Ishrat Husain the other day
said the banking system had excess liquidity, necessitating aggressive
marketing to sell their loans.
Presenting the address of welcome to Adviser to the
Prime Minister on Finance and Economic Affairs Division, Shaukat Aziz
on the inaugural session of Housing Finance Conference here, organized
by the SBP, Dr Ishrat said the competitive forces, reduced borrowing
demand from the government, lower interest rates, upsurge in rupee
deposit mobilization, de-dollarization of the economy and rising
inflows of remittances have created an excess supply of loanable funds
at the disposal of the banking system.
For the latest year ended June 30, 2002, Dadex
posted pretax profit amounting to Rs16.8 million on a turnover of
Rs525.6 million. Profit before tax last year was Rs29.7 million with
the turnover at Rs599.0 million. Earning per share worked out at
Rs1.18 for the latest year.
$700M NSS CERTIFICATES SOLD
Overseas Pakistanis have purchased special saving
certificates and special defence certificates worth over $700 million
only in one month period.
According to sources in the Central Directorate of
National Saving (CDNS), these certificates were sold in the United
Arab Emirates (UAE) in November this year, and there were expectations
that by December 30, 2002, about $100 million would have been sold due
to better interest rate being offered to overseas Pakistanis.
ADB TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE GRANT FOR PUNJAB
Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a
technical assistance (TA) grant of $680,000 to the Government of
Pakistan for enhancing capacity for resource management and poverty
reduction in the province of Punjab.
The grant, according to ADB announcement here the
other day, includes co-financing by the Poverty Reduction Cooperation
Fund for $230,000 and the Government of United Kingdom for $200,000.
The TA would provide input to the proposed Punjab
Resource Management Programme, which is in ADB's loan pipeline for