GRANTS 20 PC CONCESSION TO PAK TEXTILES
The European Commission has
agreed to grant 20 percent concession on the normal rate of customs
duty on Pakistani textile products with effect from January 2006.
Humayun Akhtar Khan Federal
Minister for Commerce disclosed this at a meeting held at the All
Pakistan Textile Mills Association.
Describing the decision as
a big success he said that the success was due to efforts of the
government. He clarified that there is no such thing that Pakistan
has not agreed to some conditions imposed by the EU, however pledged
to continue the efforts for achieving GSP plus status for Pakistan.
policy to export entire stocks of cotton lying with the Trading
Corporation of Pakistan and short crop in the current season
resulting to hike in the prevailing cotton prices, APTMA urged the
commerce minister to review the policy on urgent basis and allow TCP
cotton for sake to local mills alone.
Ahmed Kuli Khan Khattak,
Chairman APTMA speaking on the occasion expressed his concerned that
the government has not done enough on gaining access to the EU GSP
Plus scheme for textile items. He was of the view that excluding
Pakistan from GSP Plus scheme by Eruo0peean commission is unfair
given the country's increasing development needs and key role in the
international struggle against terror.
The minister was informed
that over past five years, spinning capacity of Pakistan has
enlarged but the government has failed to give a clear cut policy on
increasing the cotton crop to ensure availability of sufficient
cotton locally at reasonable rates. The minister however agreed to
take the stakeholders into confidence in policy making and promised
to look into the existing policy of disposal of cotton held by the
EXPORTS TO CHINA UP 36 PER
CENT IN NINE MONTHS
Pakistan's exports to China
show an upward trend, registering an increase of about 36 per cent
in nine months of this year. The exports were amounted to around
$612 million from January to September as against $448 million in
the corresponding period last year.
According to the Chinese
customs authority, there was a considerable increase in the export
items like cotton yarn, cotton fabric, leather, chromium ore, copper
and chemical. The Chinese side calculates the export figures on the
basis of the origin of the exported items, including those come to
the mainland through Hong Kong, and the Chinese financial calendar
is counted from January to December.
According to a report there
was still great room for enhancing the exports, particularly of
non-traditional items, including sport and engineering goods,
handicrafts, furniture, surgical instruments, marble, onyx,
jewellery and agro-based products.
Pakistan's exports to China
are likely to get further boost, when tariff on a number trading
items would be reduced to zero under the early harvest programme (EHP)
to be effective from January 2006.
Shahid Mahmood, commercial
counsellor in Pakistan Embassy, expressed the hope that the trade
volume would increase in the coming months, when the list of export
items to China would also include rice, mango and some other
agro-based products. He was confident that Pakistan's annual exports
to China would reach around $800 million by the end of December.
The bilateral cooperation
on the government-to-government-level has been excellent over the
years. A number of major public sector development projects have
been undertaken in the country with the financial and technical
assistance of state-run Chinese companies.
JORDANIANS INVITED TO
INVEST IN OIL AND GAS
Petroleum and Natural
Resources Minister Amanullah Khan Jadoon has appreciated the
government of Jordan for its help and assistance for earthquake
victims and also lauded Shaheen Business and Investment Group's
$50,000 donation for relief and rehabilitation efforts.
The minister was talking to
a seven-member Jordan's Shaheen Business and Investment Group (SBIG)
led by the deputy prime minister and discussed with them investment
opportunities in petroleum and mineral sectors.
Mr Jadoon said that there
existed a lot of potential and opportunities for the Jordanian group
to invest in oil, gas and mineral sectors, besides participating in
the proposed gas, LNG and coastal refinery projects for the mutual
Petroleum secretary Ahmed
Waqar gave a detailed briefing about oil, gas and mineral sectors
development activities in Pakistan. He said during the last five
years, the petroleum sector had witnessed a tremendous growth,
increasing oil production from 55,000 to 66,000 bpd, gas from two to
3.7 billion cubic feet and LPG to 1,500 tons per day.
SBP RAISES RS7BN, INJECTS
The State Bank has
simultaneously picked up liquidity through sale of treasury bills
and then injected higher amount through reverse repo to cool down
the heated money rates.
The SBP sold treasury bills
of three-month, six-month and 12-month maturity without a change in
cut-off yield. The central bank raised Rs7.652 billion, which
immediately created a liquidity shortage and the SBP came back with
Rs11.480 billion to inject into the system.
Banks preferred to invest
in one-year T-bills despite a liquidity shortage and were willing to
invest more, as the bids offered for 12-monthn T-bills alone
accounted for Rs17.142 billion. The total bids offered for
investment were of Rs20.952 billion.
The SBP sold T-bills of
three-month for Rs352 million at a cut-off yield of 8.1 per cent,
six-month for Rs150 million at 8.1388 per cent and 12-month for
Rs7.150 billion at 8.7784 per cent.
COTTON ARRIVALS FALL BY 24
A total of 4.737 million
bales of cotton have reached the ginning factories till Nov 1, 2005
compared to last year's 6.258 million bales, showing a production
shortfall of 24.30 per cent.
According to the
fortnightly report issued by the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association
(PCGA), in 20 cotton-growing districts of Punjab a total of
33,35,712 bales arrived at the factories compared to last year's
48,27,833 bales on the same date. So, the crop had shown a steep
shortfall of 48.11 per cent.
In nine districts of Sindh,
the production had been estimated so far at 1,401,780 bales compared
to last year's 1,430,736 bales, showing a nominal decrease in
output. A PCGA spokesman told APP that in view of the shortfall in
production the cotton rates had slightly gone upward. The
government's support price rate for phutti is Rs975 per 40 kg and
that of lint Rs2,269 per maund.
CHICKEN PRICES SHOOT UP
Chicken prices have touched
the ceiling, rising to Rs80 from Rs76 on November 1, Rs70 on October
1 and Rs60 per kg on September 1, 2005. Similarly, poultry meat
prices are currently ruling at Rs135-140 per kg from Rs130 on
November 1, Rs120 on October 1 and Rs105 on September 1.
As a result of this, owners
of broasted chicken outlets have also increased the price by Rs20
for a full broast, while chicken tikka sellers have raised the price
by Rs5 from Eid day.
CELLPHONE USERS TO REACH
16M BY DEC
Telecommunication Authority (PTA) in its annual report 2005 has
forecast over 16 million mobile cellular telephone subscribers by
December 2005, which is expected to cross 26 million by 2006.
Quoting a research done by Business Monitor International (BMI) on
Pakistan mobile market, a report said, there would be more than 16
million mobile subscribers by December 2005 and it is expected to
cross 26 million by 2006.
BESTWAY TO TAKE OVER
Commission of Pakistan has privatized state-owned Mustehkam Cement
Limited (MCL) and its ownership, management and control is being
handed over to the Bestway Group of UK, says an official handout .
Commission (PC) had earlier called for bids to privatize the MCL on
September 15 and three companies took part in the bidding process.
The Bestway Cement Limited
offered the biggest price of more than Rs3.2 billion and
subsequently was offered to take over the MCL.
The Bestway later on
deposited 25 per cent of the total bidding amount i.e. more than
Rs800 million on October 8.
The Moody's Investors
Service has upgraded the rating of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP)
amid reports of improved financial strength of the Bank.
According to a press
release issued by the NBP, Moody's upgraded the financial strength
rating (FSR) of the bank to D- from E+. The rating outlook is
QUAKE TOLL EXCEEDS 87,000:
The death toll in
earthquake has jumped to 87,350 after a new count of the dead in
Pakistan, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank reported.
According to these reports,
Pakistan's official toll jumped by 13,000 - from 73,000 to 86,000 --
and might increase further. India has reported 1,350 deaths in
The increase in death toll
followed the discovery of more bodies in Mansehra and Azad Kashmir
from the areas previously inaccessible to assessment teams due to
The report points out that
UN workers are still racing to bring shelter to the 350,000 most
desperate survivors one month after the disaster.
TALKS FOR SECURING PTCL
A Pakistani team led by
Minister for Privatization Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh has resumed in
Dubai negotiations with Etisalat of UAE to complete the $2.6 billion
endangered privatization of Pakistan Telecommunication Company
A senior government
official said the managing director of Goldman Sachs - Pakistan's
financial adviser on PTCL sale - has also joined the negotiations
currently going on at different working group levels in the UAE.
SHARE PURCHASE ACCORD
Siemens Pakistan has signed
an agreement with Privatization Commission (PC) for acquiring 53 per
cent shares of Carrier Telephone Industries (CTI) held by Pakistan
Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL).
The share purchase
agreement (SPA) was signed by Privatization Commission Secretary M.
Tahsin Khan Iqbal, PTCL CEO Junaid Khan and Siemens Pakistan
Divisional Director Sheikh Tahir Javed.
The PC offered 53 per cent
shares held by PTCL in CTI for sale to a qualified investor as
"a going concern" basis with management control, as a part
of the privatization process of the telecommunication sector.
LOCAL RICE PRICES STEADY
Pakistani rice prices
remained steady over the past week, but dealers said they would ease
in the coming days on healthy supply. "The demand from
exporters is there, but prices are expected to come down slightly
due to the good supplies, which are improving continuously,"
said a Karachi-based dealer.
Dealers said supplies had
picked up in the central Punjab and in the southern Sindh. They
expected supply to rise further in the coming weeks.
The dealer said exporters
had so far made commitments for around 250,000 tons of rice.
"We are expecting a bumper crop this year, and will hopefully
export over 1.5 million tons."
Pakistan expects a crop of
more than five million tons, against last year's 4.8 million. Annual
domestic consumption is about 2.3 million tons.
RS20BN EARMARKED FOR
The federal government has
earmarked Rs20 billion for payment to earthquake victims in the NWFP
and Azad Kashmir as an immediate measure to mitigate their
The decision was taken at a
high-level meeting held here on Monday with President General Pervez
Musharraf in the chair. Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and senior
officials involved in relief efforts attended the meeting.
The meeting decided that
Rs25,000 would be given for each affected house; Rs100,000 to be
paid to families which lost a member or members and Rs25,000 to
50,000 to each injured. A portion of the amount has already been
given to the NWFP and Azad Kashmir governments.
ISLAMABAD HOPES TO JOIN
China and five other
countries South Korea, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Laos at
their ministerial-level meeting have unanimously decided that the
membership and scope of the Bangkok Agreement should be further
While converting the name
of Bangkok agreement as Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), they
were agreed in principle that other regional countries like Pakistan
should also be allowed to work as its active members, promoting
Pakistan and India have
agreed to open up banking sector and allowed establishment of two
bank branches on reciprocal basis after a gap of 40 years. In this
regard an understanding has already been reached between the Reserve
Bank of India (RBI) and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on granting
permission for opening of bank branches, the SBP announced in a