Feb 23 - Feb 29, 2004  
ISSUE # 08  

Buying habits are changing fast in Pakistan and so does the payment modes. The change is fully supported by the technology. The growth in credit and debit cards and ATM cards has been phenomenal in last couple of years. However, only a small percentage of population, mostly living in the urban area, has been the main beneficiary. It may be because of lesser attention being paid to the rural areas.




The task force on electricity and the committee appointed by President General Pervez Musharraf have finalized their recommendations for reduction in electricity prices. Informed sources were of the view that electricity rates for the consumers in Karachi would be brought at par with the rest of the country. Since KESC has shifted its power generation system from fuel oil to natural gas, there seems no justification for carrying on the Fuel Adjustment Charges (FAC) levied on electricity consumption in Karachi. The announcement for reduction in electricity rates may be announced prior to the Federal Budget in June next.


Despite a major rice producer and exporter, Pakistan stands no where in the exports of par boiled rice especially in Saudi Arabia. Indian occupies 100 per cent of the market for export of par boiled rice to that country. Realizing the situation, the authorities have finally decided to add par boil rice into export regime which is so far confined only two varieties i.e. Irri and Basmati. Pakistan produces around 4.8 million tons of rice out of nearly 50 percent is consumed within the country, while the remaining amount is exported mainly to Middle East, European and some to Far Eastern countries.