------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 13 May 2000 Issue

: 06/18 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Govt given three years to hold polls + Chief Executive pledges more help for Balochistan + Nawaz appears in 'copter case: Charges to be framed on 27th + CE empowered to amend constitution: AG + Lakhanis, Mukhtar in NAB custody + Pakistan to combat terrorism: Moin + Pakistan open to talks with India: FO + Move to check smuggling: Government cuts number of dryports + Powers of Election Commission enhanced + Distribution of wheat on new formula begins + NWFP left with only two-day wheat stock + PML accepts SC verdict: Shujaat + Share in PSDP 2001: Provinces' may get Rs50 billion --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Sailya threatens countrywide three-day strike + Asian Development Bank to release stalled loan + Report on 3rd quarter released: 5% GDP may not be achieved: SBP + Privatized companies runs into losses + Revenue loss of Rs300-400 billion: NAB to focus on recovery + Draft law withheld: CBR opposes Bara tax + Move to meet World Bank terms: Civil services to be revamped + Trade deficit widens to $1.49bn in 10 months + Most ISPs reluctant to reduce rates + Telecom services: Licences to be finalized within 7 days + KSE 100-share index breaches 1,700-point barrier --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + So what's new? Ayaz Amir + Waiting for tax relief Sultan Ahmed ----------- SPORTS + Rain-hit Guyana Test abandoned as a draw + Qayyum report won't affect current players + Saeed ruled out of West Indies tour + Tarar seeks clarifications on match-fixing report

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NATIONAL NEWS

20000513
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Govt given three years to hold polls
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Rafaqat Ali

ISLAMABAD, May 12: The Supreme Court on Friday validated the
military takeover on the grounds of the doctrine of necessity but
asked the military government to restore civil rule and complete
its declared objectives within three years, starting from Oct 12,
1999.

The 12 judges in their unanimous judgment directed the Chief
Executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, to hold elections for the National
Assembly, provincial assemblies and Senate before Oct 11, 2002.

Chief Justice Irshad Hasan Khan, announcing the verdict on several
petitions filed by the ousted ruling party, Pakistan Muslim League,
said its misrule had created conditions for a radical
transformation on Oct 12 last year.

The apex court gave powers to the chief executive to legislate and
amend the Constitution. The court, however, ruled that no amendment
could be made to change the basic features - independence of
judiciary, federalism and parliamentary form of government, blended
with Islamic provisions - of the Constitution.

The apex court held: "The chief executive shall appoint a date, not
later than 90 days before the expiry of aforesaid period [three
years] for holding general elections to the National Assembly, the
provincial assemblies and Senate."

It held that the military takeover on Oct 12, 1999, had taken place
as the Constitution had provided no solution for that and the
intervention of the armed forces had become inevitable.

The court held that it had been validating the act under the
doctrine of necessity and principle of salus populi supreme lex (in
the supreme interest of the public) as embodied in the Begum Nusrat
Bhutto case of 1977.

It further held that the doctrine of necessity had not been
recognised only in Islam and other religions of the world but also
accepted by the eminent jurists, including Hugo, Grotius, Chitty,
and De Smith.

The court held that Gen Musharraf, chairman of joint chiefs of
staff committee and chief of the Army staff, had validly assumed
power by means of an extra-constitutional step, in the interest of
the state for the welfare of the people.

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20000512
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Chief Executive pledges more help for Balochistan
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Saleem Shahid

KHUZDAR, May 11: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf has said that
the federal government will provide an additional amount of Rs1.5
billion to the province for the rehabilitation of drought-stricken
people.

Speaking at a press conference here on Thursday after concluding
his day-long visit to the drought-hit areas of Balochistan, Gen
Musharraf pledged that his government would make all possible
efforts for removing the sense of deprivation among the people of
the province by allocating more funds than its due share from the
national resources.

"I will fulfil my promise regarding removal of sense of deprivation
and provision of Balochistan's due share," Gen Musharraf said,
adding that the centre had already given Rs1 billion for relief
operation and if needed more funds would be provided in this
connection.

He said that the people of other provinces were also providing
financial assistance to the drought-affectees. He added that the
overseas Pakistanis were also contacting for contribution to the
drought-hit people.

Musharraf said his government was giving priority to the revival of
the economy adding that the it was vital to speedy development of
the country.

He said that the stock exchange had crossed 2000 points since Oct
last; the value of dollar had become stable; and exports had
increased to $9 billion as compared to $7.5 billion last year.

The chief executive said that his government was working on a
system through which the lot of the people could be changed.

He said that people should not be afraid of the propaganda about
Pakistan's isolation in the world. He added that many Gulf states
during his recent visit to the region fully supported Pakistan's
stand on various national and international issues.

However, he said, some countries expressed their concern over a
number of issue, including Kashmir, Afghanistan, narcotics
smuggling and activities of some extremist organizations.

Replying to a question about escalation of tension on the Line of
Control, he said Pakistan was fully prepared and could reply any
aggression in the same coin. However, he said there was no chance
of any war.

Responding to another question, he said that his government had
identified problem areas and giving priority to the revival of
economy, good governance, inter-provincial harmony and ensuring
justice to the common man.

He said that his government was also making all possible efforts to
get the country out of debt burden and reduce the fiscal deficit.

The chief executive said that under the poverty alleviation
programme, the backward areas of the country would be developed and
brought at par the developed ones.

He said tax regime was being changed and a strategy was being
evolved to increase the tax base. He added that duty had been
imposed on smuggled items to check the menace which had played
havoc with the national economy.

Responding to a question about Saindak project, he said that this
huge project would be privatized to make it functional and
profitable. He said that Iran had expressed its willingness to
invest in the project.

To another question he said that the government had no intention to
close down the business of small traders. However, he said that
action would be taken against smugglers who were responsible for
destroying the local industry.

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20000513
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Nawaz appears in 'copter case: Charges to be framed on 27th
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Ansar Abbasi

ATTOCK, May 12: An accountability court, set up at the army's
special services group (SSG) base in Attock Fort,on Friday morning
started trial of deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif and suspended
senator Saifur Rehman on tax evasion charges.

The prosecutor in its reference accused Mr Sharif of purchasing a
helicopter, MI-6, from a Central Asian republic shortly before the
1997 elections when he was opposition leader but did not mention it
in the declaration of his assets to the Election Commission and the
tax department.

Sharif told the court that it had been a private deal and no
government money had been involved in it.

Special NAB Judge Farrukh Latif after a 30-minute session fixed May
27 as the date to frame the charges against the accused.

Following a complaint from the accused the court also issued a
notice to the jail superintendent to submit a report on May 18,
whether he (Sharif) had been given facilities according to the jail
manual.

Mr Sharif told the court that he had been subjected to worst kind
of psychological torture and kept in solitary confinement. The
deposed premier was transferred here from Karachi two days ago.

He also complained that he had been refused access to his lawyers
and relatives. He also complained that he was not being provided
his home-baked food.

The court allowed Mr Sharif to see his lawyers for two hours twice
a week. He was also allowed to meet his family members for half-an-
hour once a week. However, about the permission for the provision
of home-baked food, the court sought state's comments.

The NAB prosecutor-general, Farooq Adam Khan, rejected the
allegations as "lie" and "self-inflicted." However, he did not
opposed most of Sharif's demands. He told the court that the
prosecution would not object to the provision of those facilities
to the accused that were permissible to him under the jail manual.

The former premier, who walked into the courtroom along with the
former Ehtesab Bureau chief and co-accused, was looking frail but
was relaxed. Mr Rehman on the other hand looked happy and was
smiling and waving.

Extremely tight security was in place at the Fort, about 100km
northwest of Islamabad, during the hearing.

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20000513
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CE empowered to amend constitution: AG
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ISLAMABAD, May 12: Attorney General for Pakistan, Aziz A. Munshi,
has submitted before the Supreme Court that the Chief Executive is
entitled to amend the Constitution.

The Attorney General filed a written submission before a 12-member
bench of the Supreme Court here on Friday, in which he maintained
that having validly issued the Proclamation in the interest of
state survival, and for the welfare of the people, the Chief
Executive is entitled to perform all such acts and promulgate all
legislative measures, including the power to amend the Constitution
which have been recognised by judicial authorities as falling
within the scope of the Doctrine of State Necessity.

The Attorney General said that it is consistent with the judgment
of Begum Nusrat Bhutto's case and reaffirmed in the case of Mehmood
Khan Achakzai by the Supreme Court, and the Chief Executive is
further entitled to take all such measures as are necessary for
orderly running of the affairs of State.

Aziz A Munshi submitted that the Proclamation of October 14, 1999,
the Provisional Constitution Order of the same date, and any other
order whether hitherto made by the Chief Executive or which may
hereafter be made by him pursuant to the said Proclamation are, and
continues to be valid and legally enforceable on the basis of the
Judgment delivered in Begum Nusrat Bhutto's case and further
reaffirmed by Supreme Court in the case of Mehmood Khan Achakzai on
the ground of State Necessity and State survival.

He further submitted that in the facts and circumstances of the
case, the Proclamation of October 14, 1999 is valid, based as it is
upon the Doctrine of State Necessity.

The AG said that the Federation intended to restore true
representative democracy in the country as early as possible. It is
however not possible to give a specific time frame for the above,
for the reasons, among others, that the authorities/government
requires time for revival of the country's economy which stands
ruined, as submitted before the Court; for completion of the
process of accountability; recovery of huge plundered national
wealth including bank loans running into billions of rupees and
foreign exchange abroad worth billions of US Dollars; the task of
unavoidable electoral reforms, including preparation of fresh
electoral rolls; to ensure harmonious and efficient working of the
important organs of the State, stable and good governance including
maintenance of law and order, to prevent abuse of power, and to
ensure and safeguard smooth functioning and enjoyment of democracy
by the people.

He said that the Chief Executive has the power to amend the
Constitution which the Federation maintains and the plea of the
petitioners to the contrary is incorrect.

The Attorney General said that the petitions are therefore liable
to be dismissed as not maintainable.-APP

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20000511
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Lakhanis, Mukhtar in NAB custody
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Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, May 10: The two prominent businessmen of Karachi, Sultan
Lakhani and Amin Lakhani, picked up on the charges of financial
irregularities by the law enforcing agencies on Sunday,
were formally handed over to the National Accountability Bureau on
Wednesday, a government spokesman said.

The chairman NAB, Gen. Amjad, talking to Dawn by phone confirmed
that the NAB had taken over the custody of the two businessmen
brothers after two days of their arrest. He also confirmed the
arrest of former commerce minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar.

Gen. Amjad, however did not give the details of the charges against
the two brothers and Mr Mukhtar who was picked up by the NAB in a
late night operation on Tuesday.

"The investigation being carried out by the NAB are likely to be
affected if the charges against them are made public," Gen. Amjad
said.

A press release said that an inquiry into the financial
irregularities committed by Lakhani brothers was being carried out
by the NAB for the past three months and had not been made public
in view of the past experiences in which some high persons like Mr
Aftab Sherpao had slipped out of the country.

Mr Mukhtar's arrest was made in a highly dramatic manner in utter
disrespect to the sanctity of the "chadar or chardiwari."Two teams
of Pakistan Army soldiers backed up by a huge contingent of police,
simultaneously raided Islamabad and Lahore residences of Mr
Mukhtar.

"It was like an attack," a younger sister of Mr Mukhtar told
Dawn.At 11.45 on Tuesday night army soldiers,carrying Klashikovs
and led by a major jumped into the house from all sides and started
searching each and every room, she said. "They entered into the
neighbouring houses saying that they were in pursuit of two dacoits
and scaled the walls to enter our house," she added.

"Look at their intelligence that they did not know where he
(Mukhtar) is," she said.

Mr Mukhtar, earlier in the day had appeared in a court in Lahore
they could have arrested him there, she said.

"Is it not a violation of human rights," she said? When asked
whether they informed them about the charges against Mr Mukhtar?
She said they just showed a warrant and said that they had orders
of Gen. Amjad.

Unconfirmed reports said that there was a long list of charges
against Lakhanis including the allegations of bribing Hussain Nawaz
son of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for getting a license of
an American fast food chain.

Lakhani brothers who own a tobacco company, a textile unit, a
publication house and a cybernet company were being interrogated
for taking irregular loans, evading taxes and duties, smuggling and
causing huge losses to PTCL.

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20000508
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Pakistan to combat terrorism: Moin
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Reporter

KARACHI, May 7: Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider has rejected the
US allegation that Pakistan is tolerating or extending support to
terrorist groups or sending mixed messages on terrorism.

"Pakistan is against terrorism and trying hard to control it," he
asserted, saying there might have been some lapses or negligence
which could not be attributed as mixed signals. On the contrary, he
said, it was the US which was sending mixed signals by attributing
terrorism with Pakistan and saying it did not mean it.

Gen Haider was responding to the speech by US Consul General John
C. Bennett who had referred to the annual report of the State
Department on "Patterns of Global Terrorism 1999" issued on May 1,
2000.

The occasion was a seminar on "Civic Rights, Peace and Development"
under the auspices of Pakistan Civic Forum. Besides the convener of
the forum Begum Salma Ahmad, other speakers were Lt Gen (Retd) Asad
Durrani and Chairman Social Marketing, Zafar Iqbal. Imran Aslam
briefly introduced the subject of the seminar and Nawabzada Ashraf
Liaquat Ali Khan gave the vote of thanks. The seminar was followed
by a questions-answers session.

Referring to the observations made by Mr Bennett, Gen Haider, the
chief guest, called upon the US to adopt a clear policy and make up
its mind keeping in view that "we are your allies and Pakistani
soldiers played an important role in the peace-keeping UN force,
earning commendation certificates from the UN and Western countries
for their contribution in attaining global peace."

He pointed out that the feelings of Muslims were exploited by the
West, particularly US, by arming students after the invasion of
Afghanistan by Soviet forces. Afterwards, the West turned its back
on them, leaving them to suffer in the war-ravaged country where
the infrastructure had collapsed. He said Afghanistan is now
engaged in the worst kind of civil war.

Pointing out that Afghanistan is listed as one of the five poorest
countries in the world, he suggested the West, particularly the US,
come forward to rebuild the Afghan infrastructure through NGOs to
divert their attention from poppy cultivation and narcotics.

He said: "We have eliminated all heroin factories from Pakistan by
taking strict measures to get rid of the narcotics menace. We have
confiscated assets worth 34 million dollars of those indulging in
narcotics' trade and so far 19 million dollars had been deposited
in the national exchequer."

Drawing attention of the US Consul General, he recalled Pakistan
had allocated Rs15 billion for its poverty alleviation programme,
out of which Rs7 billion had been deducted from the defence budget
while on the contrary India had increased its defence budget by 28
per cent which was equivalent to Pakistan's total defence budget.

Referring to President Bill Clinton's recent visit to South Asia,
Gen Haider pointed out that after Mr Clinton's visit to the region,
India had started not only hurling threats at Pakistan but
indulging in grave violence at the Line of Control.

"Pakistan wants peace. We do not want to go to war. But if a war is
thrust upon us, then will respond in a befitting manner. Still, it
would be a tragedy," said Gen Haider.

He said in Kashmir, 7 lakh Indian army personnel had been indulging
in serious violations of human rights by unleashing a reign of
terror.

"Pakistan wants to hold talks with India. Gen Parvez Musharraf has
repeatedly said that we want to hold dialogues, but with
objectivity, in order to find a solution to the Kashmir issue," he
added.

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20000508
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Pakistan open to talks with India: FO
-------------------------------------------------------------------

ISLAMABAD, May 7: Pakistan remains open to dialogue with India any
time, any place and any where as stated by Chief Executive Gen
Pervez Musharraf, a foreign office spokesman said on Sunday.

"It is incomprehensible why India is afraid of a dialogue with
Pakistan," he said when asked to comment on Indian Home Minister
Lal Krishna Advani's reported statement rejecting suggestions of
resumption of peace talks with Pakistan.

He said: "we have consistently offered dialogue to India," adding
it was India that had always rejected any proposal from Pakistan
for dialogue.

He reiterated that the solution of Kashmir issue wholly depended on
the exercise of the right of self-determination by the Kashmiris.-
APP

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20000511
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Move to check smuggling: Government cuts number of dryports
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Ikram Hoti

ISLAMABAD, May 10: The Cabinet Division has informed the Central
Board of Revenue of the government's decision to reduce the number
of dryports to one each in the four provinces.

Sources said the decision was taken at the cabinet meeting last
week, and a proposal in this regard was made by the Ministry of
Interior.

The proposal said that the nine dryports have become a major
source of smuggling into Pakistan of items which are on duty/taxes
list, they added.

The dryports operating are at Sambrial (Sialkot), Lahore, Multan,
Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Hyderabad, Larkana, Quetta and Peshawar.
The CBR has been asked to evolve a strategy so that functions of
these dryports are handled by the Customs department after doing
away with the five dryports.

The concerned CBR officials are to draft a proposal for their
seniors to make a presentation to the government on the issue next
week. They told Dawn Wednesday that the four dryports of Lahore,
Peshawar, Quetta and Hyderabad proved insufficient for preventing
choking at the Karachi Port after which the other five dryports
were created by the government.

They said the interior ministry, in its proposal to do away with
the five dryports, has not listed any major instances of smuggling
through the dryports. However, they added, that there have been a
couple of instances which were pointed out to NAB by CBR itself,
wherein in the past there have been misuse of the facility for
smuggling purposes.

ANTI-DUMPING ORDINANCE: The federal cabinet on Wednesday approved
an Anti-dumping Ordinance for preventing import of goods, raw
materials and equipment at dumping prices.

The ordinance empowers National Tariff Commission to impose penalty
against dumping and provides for collection of the anti-dumping
duty by the Central Board of Revenue. It allows the NTC to initiate
investigations on application from local industry pointing out
injury by dumping.

The investigation would be carried out on the basis of comparable
price of the like product when exported, and the cost of production
in the country of origin plus a reasonable amount for
administrative, selling and general costs and for profits.The NTC
would determine whether the export constitutes five per cent or
more of the sales of the investigated product to Pakistan.

The ordinance deals separately with the anti-dumping and
countervailing measures. This separation has been envisaged to deal
exclusively with dumping subsidies, and not to burden this subject
with the implementation of aspects of transparency and
effectiveness of the law in the light of WTO agreement.

  APP adds: A Trade Agreement between Pakistan and Yemen was also
approved by the Federal Cabinet that met Wednesday with the Chief
executive general pervez Musharraf in the chair.

The proposed Trade Agreement will help in developing and
strengthening the existing relations between the two countries. The
Cabinet also approved signing of Trade Agreement with Lebanon.

The proposed Trade Agreement also envisages to take appropriate
measures to facilitate, strengthen and diversify trade by
encouraging relevant enterprises and organizations of both the
countries. The proposed agreement will help explore new vistas in
the field of trade and commerce in Pakistan and Lebanon.

  ECO trade: The Cabinet approved the ratification of Framework
Agreement on Economic Cooperation Organisation Trade Cooperation.
The Agreement provides a framework laying down the principles to
institutionalize trade among the ECO member states.

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20000511
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Powers of Election Commission enhanced
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Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, May 10: The federal government has enhanced
administrative and financial powers of the Election Commission of
Pakistan with an avowed objective to make it a completely
autonomous body, an official announcement said here on Wednesday.

The decision to strengthen the Commission, officially described as
a "major step forward in the restoration of democratic system," was
taken when Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf visited the
Commission's office here.

Following a detailed presentation by Chief Election Commissioner,
Justice (retd) Abdul Qadeer Chaudhry, to Gen Musharraf eight
important decisions were announced by the government which would
bring the powers of the chief election commissioner at par with
that of chief justice of Pakistan.

The chief of the Election Commission for the first time since the
adoption of 1973 Constitution has been entrusted the task of
holding next local bodies polls in December, 2000. Though
provincial election commissions will remain responsible for holding
the elections in their respective local bodies constituencies,
their chiefs will operate under the direct control and supervision
of the chief election commissioner.

To enable the Commission to fulfil the gigantic task of conducting
elections of local bodies throughout the country, it has been
decided that all organisations and staff working under the federal
government and the provincial governments will assist the Election
Commission.

The administrative authority granted to the commissioner include
full powers to create new posts and abolish old posts provided that
expenditure is met from within the allocated budget of the
Elections Commission. It has also got the powers to change
nomenclature and up-grade or down-grade any post provided that
expenditure is met from within the allocated budget of the
Commission.

The decision also entails amendments to a number of laws concerning
the Election Commission of Pakistan. In the Rules of Business 1973,
Election Commission has been shown under the law and justice and
parliamentary affairs division. The said Rules will be amended and
for the words Elections Commission the words 'legislative business
relating to the Election Commission' will be substituted to remove
the impression that the Election Commission is subordinate to
parliamentary affairs division.

It was also decided that the new electoral rolls based on the 1998
census will be prepared under the control and supervision of the
Election Commission by entrusting the task to National Data Base
Registration Authority.

Section 4 of the Electoral Rolls Act 1974, specifies that the
electoral rolls to be prepared under this Act shall be prepared by
"revising the existing electoral rolls." The words "revising
existing electoral rolls" will be deleted to empower the chief
election commissioner for preparation of fresh electoral rolls
based on the 1998 census.

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20000511
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Distribution of wheat on new formula begins
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Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, May 10: The federal government has started distribution
of wheat to the provinces for the year 2000-2001 on the basis of
revised formula of 150 kg per person annually and in this
connection, the NWFP province will get 25,000 metric tons from
Pasco godowns this week.

The federal government had earlier announced that it has raised per
capita consumption from 124 kg to 150 kg on the demand of the
provincial governments.

Official sources told Dawn on Wednesday that the NWFP government
had been allocated a total of 90,000 metric tons of wheat for the
year 2000-2001 from the federal quota.

The sources said that although the new fiscal year was yet to start
the NWFP government which was facing serious wheat shortage, had
requested the federal government to provide its share of wheat from
the federal quota immediately.

The sources said that the NWFP had requested the Centre that the
first allocation of indigenous wheat from Pasco by road against
2000-20001 requirement should be released this week.

The federal government had informed the NWFP government that under
the new distribution formula, it will receive 90,000 metric tons of
wheat for the year 2000-2001 from the federal quota. The provincial
government was asked to place its schedule for the lifting of wheat
from the Pasco godowns for 2001-2001.

The sources further said that the NWFP government had sent a letter
to Pasco in which it had named all those contractors who would lift
the wheat from the Pasco points.

The sources said that the following contractors would lift the
wheat on behalf of the provincial government from Pasco godowns and
will offload at different cities mentioned by the NWFP government:

M/S Bilal Enterprises will lift 5000 metric tons and will offload
the commodity at Peshawar, M/S Roz Trade company 3000 metric tons
at Charsada district, M/S Afghan and company 4000 metric tons
Dargai (i) and Dir 3000 metric tons, Haji Imam Din Hangu 5000, M/S
Falcon Trade Company at Mansehra districts 2000 metric tons, M/S
Shan contractor will offload 3000 metric tons at Bannu district.

The sources said that the provincial government in particular had
pointed out to Pasco authorities in Lahore that only good quality,
packed in sound bardana of correct weight, should be provided to
the carriage contractors.

The sources said the provincial government had also added that the
federal government should also afford possible facilities in
lifting of allocated wheat stock from the loading points.

The provincial government has further requested that Pasco fill in
the pro-forma already sent and return the same to the provincial
government as and when the allocation is completed.

The provincial government has also requested the Pasco authorities
to allocate the loading points immediately for dispatches of the
wheat.

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20000507
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NWFP left with only two-day wheat stock
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Bureau Report

PESHAWAR, May 6: The atta crisis in the NWFP has taken a serious
turn with only two days' stocks left in government's wheat godowns
on Saturday.

Sources said the situation worsened after Punjab put an unannounced
ban on the wheat and flour supply to the NWFP which had no other
source to replenish its godowns.

The government, therefore, would not be able to release wheat to
flour mills from Sunday unless immediate remedial measures were
taken. The situation in the drought-hit districts was even worse
where people could resort to street protests any time.

The NWFP government asked its Punjab counterpart to immediately
resume the wheat supply. But so far, officials complained, there
had been a lukewarm response from the Punjab food department.

Flour has always been in short supply throughout the province since
March 1997, and even the military government with all power at its
disposal has failed to improve the situation.

Besides, the quality of flour ground by the NWFP mills has been
inferior and in some cases even unfit for human consumption. The
NWFP food department has failed to determine why the quality was
poorer than that of the flour being ground in Punjab.

Price-wise too the NWFP brand atta is dearer than the Punjab atta
with a 20kg bag being sold here Rs10 higher than the price of the
same weight in Punjab.

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20000513
-------------------------------------------------------------------
PML accepts SC verdict: Shujaat
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

LAHORE, May 12: Political leaders have given mixed reactions to the
Supreme Court judgment on the Oct 12 military action which ousted
the PML government.

Former interior minister Chaudhry Shujaat Husain said the PML
accepted the Supreme Court's verdict as it had tremendous regard
for courts.

However, he said, one expected that the army would also accept with
large-heartedness if any court ever gave any judgment against it.

The PML leader said the apex court had brought an end to
speculation that the army wanted to stay in power for an indefinite
period. Since a time-frame had been given for fresh elections, the
PML would have sufficient time to prepare itself for the new polls.

He proposed that the military government should spend the three-
year period to improve economy which was in a very bad shape. He
said the rulers should take steps to restore people's confidence.

Referring to accountability, Chaudhry Shujaat said it appeared as
if the government was victimizing its opponents. He said at the
lower level, people involved in accountability were misusing their
powers because of which the army was getting a bad name.

Begum Kulsoom Nawaz said the judgment was predictable in the
presence of the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO).

She said the army had been given three years to play with the
destiny of the country. She alleged that the government had failed
to deliver during the past seven months and no good could be
expected of it in the near future.

The former prime minister's wife said the PML would remain united
and play its due role in the political field.

GDA leader Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan said the alliance would discuss
the matter at its May 20 meeting to be held at Peshawar.

He said initially the alliance wanted to discuss the drought in
various areas and its impact on the economy, the strike call given
by religious parties and other such issues. But, he said, now the
Supreme Court judgment would be on the top of the agenda.

The Nawabzada said the apex court had given a short order because
of which many things were not clear. He said political parties
would wait for the detailed judgment for the reasons which were
used as the basis for conclusions the apex court had drawn.

The senior leader said it was the fundamental right of people to
elect a government of its own choice. But the Supreme Court had
given the present government three years to hold elections.

He said it needed an explanation whether a government elected
through ballot during the intervening period could not work on the
agenda given to the military rulers.

PML Vice-President Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri said with the SC
judgment the state of uncertainty had ended. He said although the
apex court had allowed the government to amend the Constitution, he
hoped that the minimum changes would be made in it as it was a
consensus constitution which had taken some 26 years to evolve.

"I hope that the government will think 100 times before tampering
with it".

Mr Kasuri said that intervening period between now and the
beginning of the electoral process should be used by political
parties to evolve a code of conduct both for democracy within the
parties and for developing a spirit of tolerance, compromise and
understanding with each other which was sadly missing in the past.

He proposed that the appointment of an election commission and an
accountability commission should be decided jointly the government
and political parties.

Mr Kasuri said the military government should now tackle problems
like smuggling and the GST and law and order and try to evolve a
consensus among the federating units on the new dam to forestall an
Ethiopia-like condition in Pakistan.

The PML vice-president said so far the government had been fighting
for legitimacy. But now history would judge the position of the
government both legally and morally from the implementation of the
apex court's judgment.

In his brief comments, former federal minister and PPP leader
Khalid Khan Kharal said it was a predictable decision in the
presence of the established law of necessity. He said six months
had already passed out of the three years given by the court to the
military government and now the military should prepare electoral
rolls, provide ID cards to voters and create a conducive atmosphere
to hold fair and free polls in the remaining period.

Malik Hamid Sarfraz, the provincial president of the Pakistan
National Conference (PNC), appreciated the judgment, saying the
political parties also expected the military to stay in power for
as long to carry out accountability of the corrupt and introduce
radical electoral reforms. He said it was necessary to give the
military government time to reform the electoral system to create
an atmosphere where free and fair polls could be held and the
people without money participated in them.

Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf chief Imran Khan has hailed the SC verdict
on the Oct 12 change and said that it will provide the present
government with an element of legitimacy.

Mr Khan said the government should start the implementation of the
seven-point agenda. He said it should give priority to the
accountability process. It should declare casting of vote mandatory
for every voter and undertake other needed electoral reforms to
discourage the election of corrupt elements for parliamentary
slots. He said the government should also set a limit for election
expenditure.

In a Press statement issued on Friday, he said after the
announcement of the SC verdict the government would no longer be
able to give lame excuses to the people who were waiting for
positive results. He said the government should have got a vote of
public confidence directly through a referendum soon after the
takeover. But now the regime should fulfil its promises without any
delay and work in accordance with public expectations as it has
been provided a period of three years for this purpose by the
Supreme Court of Pakistan.

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20000511
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Share in PSDP 2001: Provinces' may get Rs50 billion
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sabihuddin Ghausi

KARACHI, May 10: The share of all four provinces in the development
funds is being increased from about Rs28 billion in the current
fiscal to over Rs50 billion in next fiscal year.

Officials say that out of Rs124 billion tentative public sector
development outlay for the year 2000-2001, the four provinces are
being given Rs30 billion for their annual development programmes.
With this, the provinces will also be given a share in the Rs21
billion poverty alleviation programme.

Another significant initiative being taken in the 2000-2001 PSDP is
manifold increase in allocation for science and technology for
which the proposal is to provide additional Rs2 billion. The 1999-
2000 PSDP budget had proposed an allocation of Rs 306 million only.
The schemes being taken up in the science and technology involves
an outlay of Rs4.52 billion out of which only Rs2.34 billion have
been provided. Planners fear run over cost of unfinished
development schemes would go well beyond Rs3 billion.

Information technology is the key component in the new initiative
and provinces would be asked to develop computer and software parks
in their respective jurisdictions.

All these proposals have been firmed up in the Priorities Committee
meeting held last week and are being discussed on Thursday in the
Annual Planning Coordination Committee (APCC) to be held in
Islamabad.

Planners are pinning their hope on generation of additional Rs80 to
Rs100 billion resources next fiscal after the net of general sales
tax is expanded at the retail level and new tax payers are brought
on the income tax roll. It means that the budget makers are looking
for a total generation of Rs430 to Rs450 billion revenue in 2000-
2001.

Another source of revenue generation for the next fiscal year is
swift privatization for which the law has been framed and the
ministers including the finance minister has already declared of
taking initiative in this direction before the end of this month.
Eighty per cent of privatization proceeds will be utilized for the
retirement of outstanding debts, about 20 per cent is expected to
be given for the development of social sectors and poverty
alleviation.

There are also broad indications of substantial increase in
government spending in the oil and gas sector. In 1999-2000 the
original PSDP allocated only Rs96 million for the Oil and Gas
Development Corporation. About a dozen development schemes are
under various stages of implementation in which more than Rs15
billion have been invested. Planners assess further investment of
Rs10 to Rs12 billion for completion of these schemes which should
lead to augmentation in oil and gas production.

In the current fiscal year the share of Sindh in the PSDP was
Rs7.54 billion. Budget makers are expected to raise this share to
Rs10 to Rs11 billion in the coming fiscal year in which focus will
be on science and technology, improvement and extension of Sindh
Highway, National Highway and other road projects. In addition
Sindh is also expected to get a share for its own annual
development plan outlay.


=================================================================== 
 BUSINESS & ECONOMY
20000512
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sailya threatens countrywide three-day strike
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, May 11: Umar Sailya on Thursday issued here a
countrywide three-day shutter-down call against the government's
refusal to negotiate on a 10-point demand notice from the All
Pakistan Organization of Small Traders
and Cottage Industries.

Addressing a press conference at a local hotel Salia said: "We have
decided to observe a complete shutter-down from May 19 to 21 in
four provinces, FATA and Azad Kashmir, in all districts, tehsils
and villages."

Salia warned that the Central Board of Revenue was "conspiring to
bring the traders and the military government to a point of open
clash by proposing measures like shop-to-shop and door-to-door
survey for tax-compliance". He suggested to "conduct the survey on
property in posh areas like Islamabad and other big cities where
the corrupt bureaucrats own sprawling commercial and residential
properties". That is where "the looters of the country's wealth
have hoarded their money", he said.

He demanded re-introduction of 0.75 per cent development tax agreed
with the Nawaz Sharif government on Sept 14, 1999. "This tax could
not be implemented due to the military takeover on Oct 12, 1999,
the day when our organization and the Central Board of Revenue
officials were finalizing the nitty gritty of the tax related to
the method of its collection and the procedures for notifying it".

The strike call was being issued to protest the attitude of the
government with regard to the traders' 10-point demand list to
negotiate which the APST had given the government the deadline of
May 10. These included the demand for immediate suspension of the
programme to conduct the anti-smuggling survey which he said aimed
at raiding the retailers' shops.

The list contained the demand for removal of the GST from the
utilities bills; 27 per cent reduction in petroleum products'
prices; immediate cessation of the downsizing programme in the
government organizations; cleansing the CBR of the corrupt
officials and, in particular, the accountability of the Customs
officials through probe into their assets and wealth.

He lambasted the CBR for maintaining a multi-stage and multi-rates
taxation and pointed out that this system was the root cause of the
inflation in the country.

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20000510
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Asian Development Bank to release stalled loan
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, May 9: Asian Development Bank (ADB) has informed
Pakistan that it will soon release a stalled loan of $125m to cover
the balance of payment and $100m for the establishment of a Micro-
finance Bank (MFB),
official sources told Dawn here on Tuesday.

A message to this effect was handed over to Finance Minister
Shaukat Aziz who visited Bangkok last week to attend the ADB
Board's meeting.

Sources said, the ADB will be the first international agency to
provide a foreign loan to Pakistan since May 28, 1998 when Pakistan
conducted N-tests at Chagai leading to economic sanctions from
different countries and suspension of loans from International
Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank.

Sources said the Bank had now agreed to provide $100m as a loan to
Pakistan for the establishment of Micro-finance Bank. The Bank had
earlier offered $50m for this purpose but now it had agreed to give
$100 million for the MFB.

Sources believe that the release of $125 million to Pakistan at
this stage meant that IMF and World Bank were satisfied with the
new policies of Pakistan in the monetary field.

The country mission of the ADB had held talks with the visiting IMF
mission to Pakistan in the first week of April, as well.
Reportedly, the ADB team had exchanged their views and notes with
the IMF mission about the presentations made by the different
government agencies regarding financial and social reforms in
Pakistan.

A majority of shareholders of the ADB are American investors,
sources said and added that was why Mr Aziz also held a meeting
with the American investors in Bangkok.

After this meeting, sources said, the ADB informed Pakistan that it
would release stalled loan of $125 million for balance of payment
and $100 million for the setting up of the MFB.

Meanwhile, when contacted by Dawn, a spokesman of the finance
ministry said, the matter was being pursued and as soon as the ADB
returned to its normal working after Boards' meeting in Bangkok,
the decision to this effect will be made.

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20000509
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Report on 3rd quarter released: 5% GDP may not be achieved: SBP
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, May 8: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has said
Pakistan's GDP may grow 4.4 per cent during the current fiscal year
which is lower than targeted 5 per cent but higher than the
previous year's growth of 3.1 per cent.

A third quarterly report of the SBP on the state of the economy
predicts 5.4 per cent growth in the agricultural sector and 4.5 per
cent growth in the services sector against the targeted 4.3 per
cent and 5.1 per cent growth in the respective sectors. It says
industry may grow only 1.5 per cent against the targeted 5.5 per
cent because of low production of sugar and a downward revision of
real growth in small-scale manufacturing.

The report says the estimated growth of 4.4 per cent is still
"inadequate to make a dent in reducing poverty and unemployment".
The report, released here on Monday, says this will require higher
sustainable growth rates in the future. It says that despite an
impressive recovery in the agriculture sector the overall recovery
in the economy is still fragile and not balanced because the
spillover from the agricultural sector to the textile sector has so
far been limited.

The report says the factors that can induce sustainable recovery
and higher growth have so far remained elusive. The following
factors can induce sustainable recovery and higher growth: increase
in domestic saving and investment rates, lower debt indicators,
flexibility in composition of the government expenditure,
broadening of the tax base, etc.

The writers of the report believe that the next budget "will
address some of these issues and set the real direction for the
economy." They think that the government efforts to tackle
corruption and to hold public officials and others accountable for
their actions should have lasting implications for the quality of
economic governance, and should have impact on equitable and
sustainable growth. The report that covers economic developments
during July 99 - March 2000 was approved by the board of directors
of the SBP at a meeting in Quetta on Sunday.

It notes that adverse international prices ie high oil prices and
low cotton prices, negative transfers to international financial
institutions, reduced home remittances and sluggish foreign
investment created pressure on the balance of payments. However,
"improved export earnings, a reduction in the food import bill and
substantial outright purchases from the overseas market enabled the
authorities to maintain a reasonable level of liquid reserves". The
liquid foreign exchange reserves stood above $1.4 billion by the
end of March: the amount included $327 million of fresh foreign
currency deposits of banks placed with the SBP.

The term outright purchases from the overseas market refers to the
State Bank buying of dollars from the open market - to the tune of
$1.37 billion in the first nine months of this fiscal year. "In
addition to this low domestic inflation rates (CPI 3.6 per cent up
to March) allowed for a degree of stability in the exchange rate
that has not been witnessed in the recent past."

The report says outright purchases of foreign currency by the SBP
"should be viewed as an interim arrangement to finance external
deficit while structural problems in the trade sector are (being)
rectified". It says once these issues are resolved which should
reduce the deficit in the trade/services account the role of such
purchases will automatically fall.

The report says a rather exceptionally high balance of payment gap
of $2.95 billion includes all repayments that have been
rescheduled, the roll-over of institutional foreign currency
accounts and deposits with the SBP and restructuring of Eurobonds.

The SBP report also touches upon the issue of mis-reporting of
fiscal data - or figure fudging. It says higher fiscal deficits for
fiscal year 97-98 and 98-99 came as a complete surprise: "telltale
signs of this lax fiscal position were simply not apparent."

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20000511
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Privatized companies runs into losses
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Muhammad Ilyas

ISLAMABAD, May 10: Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan
(SECP) has ordered an investigation into the affairs of M/s
Pakistan PVC Ltd which has shown only losses and paid no return to
its shareholders
ever since its privatization in 1992.

Yet, the same company had earned a net profit of Rs 20.347m in the
year preceding its privatization, according to the order issued by
the SECP Commissioner (Enforcement & Monitoring).

Listed on the Karachi and Lahore Stock Exchanges in '65, the
principal activity of the company with a paid-up capital of Rs
49.86m was to produce and sell resin, pipes and fittings, compound
and caustic soda.

In the very first year of transfer of management to private sector,
the company showed a loss of Rs 81.78m. By the year ending June 30,
'99, its current liabilities stood at Rs 493.6m against the current
assets of Rs45.2m. On further analysis of the company's accounts,
SECP staff found "alarming inconsistencies" relating to gross
profit and loss and administrative and selling expenses.

Apprehending that affairs of the company were not being managed in
accordance with the sound business principles and prudent
commercial practices and that its solvency was in danger, the
Commission issued a show-cause notice under sec 265 of the
Companies Ordinance, '84, (CO) as to why an inspector not be
appointed to investigate into the affairs of the company.

In reply, Chief Executive of the company contended, inter alia,
that though the company was privatized in Feb '92, production
facilities were not handed over to the new management until June,
'92. Moreover, the Government coerced it into accepting 50% of the
Golden Hand Shake which was a major drain on the company's
resources.

On the basis of the C.E's reply, SECP decided to postpone the
proceedings till receipt of accounts for the year ending June 30,
'99 and, in the meantime, the company was directed to send
quarterly reports with a view to monitoring efforts, if any, by the
company to revive the company.

It was, however, observed that there was no improvement in the
operating results. Accordingly, a hearing in the case was fixed on
April 24. Appearing before the Commission, Reyaz Shaffi,
Chairman/C.E. of the Company, stated that he had done everything
possible for the company and that it could not be revived unless
banks provided it with working capital.

In this connection, he had also met the Finance Minister who
advised him to approach the committee for sick units. Asserting
that his hands were clean, Shaffi said he would welcome
investigation by an inspector appointed by the Commission.

In the order appointing M/s Majeed Uddin & Co., Chartered
Accountants, as Inspector, the Commission has directed them to
submit report within 60 days.

The report, it ordered, should contain findings, inter alia, about
the reasons of heavy losses after privatization and for
inconsistencies in operating results, whether proper records have
been kept by the company as required under sec 230 and 234 of CO,
whether an adequate system of internal controls exists so as to
prevent misappropriation and mis-application of the Company's
assets.

Besides, the Inspectors have been asked to investigate where the
purchase-and-sales rates of materials charged by the management are
comparable with the market rates, and ascertain whether the
business was conducted and expenditures incurred in accordance with
the objects of the company.

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20000513
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Revenue loss of Rs300-400 billion: NAB to focus on recovery
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, May 12: Chairman, National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Lt
Gen Syed Muhammad Amjad on Friday said that the main thrust of NAB
was towards the recovery of Rs300-400 billion revenue losses being
suffered per annum on account of leakages and corruption.

On the occasion of his visit to APTMA the NAB chief while
discussing plans and strategy of the bureau to control corruption
and promotion of accountability said, "if this enormous loss of
revenue was not plugged, the country will never be able to generate
sufficient funds for its developmental expenditures and its debt
burden too, will continue to rise beyond limits".

General Amjad categorically said that this enormous revenue loss
was being suffered mainly because of leakages and evasions in
collection of taxes and customs duties made by business community
in connivance with revenue collecting agencies.

"Honest businessmen have absolutely no reason to fear NAB," he
assured APTMA members that all efforts were being made by NAB to
settle default issues amicably and out of court and arrests only
take place when chronic defaulters refuse reasonable settlements.

While setting aside the notion that NAB operations were only
targeted towards business and industrial class General Amjad said
that out of 126 persons arrested in November 1999, only 26 were
businessmen.

He assured APTMA members that they should continue their business
operations and investments without any fear if they were honestly
fulfilling their obligations in respect of payment of taxes, bank
loans and other corporate obligations.

Chairman, NAB agreed to APTMA's proposal to include their
representative in the Reconciliation Committee of NAB which
negotiates settlement of dues with defaulters.

Chairman APTMA Mohsin Aziz while supporting the need for
controlling corruption and promoting accountability, proposed
specific improvements in the modus operandi of NAB to make it more
effective without damaging the confidence of business and industry.

He suggested that the basic objective of NAB's operations should be
to expedite recoveries of defaulted loans and overdues through
negotiations and amicable settlement. Harsh measures such as,
arrests and tarnishing reputation of business concerns should not
be done.

Above all, Mohsin Aziz said distinction should be made between
wilful and non-wilful or circumstantial defaults and demanded that
due consideration should be extended to the non-wilful or
circumstantial defaulters. Even when action is initiated against a
defaulting businessman, his business unit, he said should be
allowed to continue operations.

Mohsin Aziz demanded that accountability for defaults should not
only be restricted to the borrowers but ought to be across the
board and must also include the related officers of the lending
institutions.

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20000511
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Draft law withheld: CBR opposes Bara tax
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ikram Hoti

ISLAMABAD, May 10: The Law and Justice Division has withheld the
draft of a presidential ordinance for giving legal cover to the
collection of duty from the Bara traders on shutter basis.

Dawn learnt from official sources here on Wednesday that the CBR
chairman had already written to the interior ministry that the
shutter tax was not permissible under the Customs Act 1969.

Accepting the CBR plea, which was submitted the last week, the Law
and Justice Division informed the Ministry of Interior that there
was no provision for collecting per shutter duty under the Customs
Act 1969, and hence there was no provision for issuing an ordinance
to give a legal cover to the agreement concluded with the Bara
traders' representative bodies for the collection of duty.

The federal cabinet's Anti-Smuggling Committee, which met here on
Tuesday to review the situation after the agreement for per shutter
duty collection, was reportedly told about the L&JD observation on
the draft ordinance.

This draft was sent the last week by the interior ministry and the
CBR jointly to the L&JD where it was to be finalised for approval
by Tuesday (today). The approval of ordinance was sought by the
Interior Ministry for giving a legal cover to the collection of
duty but the CBR was having "second thoughts" about the whole
affair, the sources said.

The CBR has now pointed out to the interior ministry that the total
amount to be generated from the shutter-tax would not be Rs5
billion, as previously calculated, but only Rs700m. They have told
the ministry that the per shutter tax levied at Rs1,000, as per the
reviewed figures, would be paid on a total of 70,000 shutters.

The CBR officials have also pointed out that no final list has been
made on shutters containing/selling the smuggled goods exclusively.
None of the shutters have so far been clearly claimed as
"exclusively" selling smuggled items, the ministry has been told.

Apart from this, says the CBR, the previously-compiled figures on
smuggled goods lacked two major categories which had to be kept
essentially in view for chalking out an anti-smuggling strategy for
survey and levy. The first category is that of the locally-produced
goods which are sold as foreign goods in the market, including on
those shops which are deemed to be exclusively selling the non-
duty-paid goods.

The second category is of the goods which the importers have placed
on the shops throughout the country, mainly in Quetta and the NWFP,
for sale after importing them on discounted rate of duty. There are
about 750 import manifests with the CBR mentioning that in-bulk
goods, mainly electronic goods and kitchen-ware of foreign origin,
were imported over the past three to four years at discounted duty
rates and then placed on shops known as Bara markets.

The Bara traders have been complaining that they have been asked to
get listed as shutters for selling non-duty-paid items, whereas
they have been selling goods most of which were duty-paid at
discounted rates.

The technical observation made by the L&JD on the draft of
ordinance and the CBR's fresh submissions regarding the status of
Bara goods on the Customs Duty Schedule has forced the interior
ministry to conduct a review of the whole policy regarding levy of
duty on Bara traders, the sources say.

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20000511
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Move to meet World Bank terms: Civil services to be revamped
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD, May 10: The government has constituted a high-level
steering committee, headed by Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz, to
implement the World Bank's proposed civil service reforms in the
country.

The bank had asked Pakistan to implement the report "A Framework
for Civil Service Reform in Pakistan", which was presented to the
government of Pakistan in December 1998 but was not implemented.

Some senior bureaucrats, including the secretary-general finance,
the secretary establishment and the secretary cabinet, etc, are the
members of the steering committee which has made some sub-
committees to work out the modalities for the implementation of
different aspects of the report.

Agencies like the National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB) have also
been engaged by the steering committee so that there is no
overlapping of work.

The WB report, prepared in response to Pakistan's request, covers
the following main topics: the need for reform; employment and
personnel expenditure; downsizing; accountability and performance;
pay and benefits; pensions; and preparing, sequencing, and managing
comprehensive reform.

To reduce the increasing public sector wage costs which, according
to the WB report, are straining the high-priority non-wage
expenditures, irreversible downsizing of civil bureaucracy is
necessary.

For effective downsizing scheme, the WB suggests the removal of
ghost workers and pensioners by undertaking payroll audits;
maintaining and tightening the existing recruitment freezes;
stopping new work-charged employment and not regularising the
existing work- charged staff; terminating all ad hoc appointments
and contractual appointments at the end of the contract period;
denotifying all unfilled sanctioned posts which have remained
vacant for more than one year; ending the practice of 'moveovers'.

Identifying corruption as a pervasive and deep-rooted problem in
Pakistan affecting the civil service and most other institutions,
the WB said that there were twelve laws to deal with corruption
apart from the disabling provisions in the constitution.

It said that very few corrupt officials were ever convicted.
Pressing for a reliable accountability mechanism, the World Bank
insists that "it would be preferable if early evidence of
corruption were dealt with under the efficiency and discipline
rules of the federal and provincial establishment codes which
provide for the penalty of dismissal of corrupt civil servants."

The report also discussed the role of the Public Service
Commissions; the Ombudsman; the Ehtesab Commission; the Pakistan
Audit Department; and the PM's (currently CE's) Inspection
Commission with regard to the accountability of civil servants.

The report says that the government should commission a thorough
survey of private sector pay by independent advisers on the basis
of which it should consider increasing the basic pay as a measure
to attract staff with specific skills and to combat corruption.

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20000507
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Trade deficit widens to $1.49bn in 10 months
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Muhammad Ilyas

ISLAMABAD, May 6: Pakistan's trade deficit worsened to $1.49
billion during the first 10 months of 1999-2000, resulting in an
increase of 14.6 per cent over the figure for the preceding nine
months.

The government, it will be recalled, had projected the trade
deficit for the entire financial year to be at $1.2 billion. This
figure was already surpassed in the first nine months.

According to the incomplete figures released by the ministry of
commerce here on Saturday, exports during the period totalled $6.92
billion.

  This works out to an increase of 10.0 per cent over the
corresponding period of last year. Even with this increase, the
country has achieved only 76.8% of the exports target of $9.0
billion for the year.

It is short of the target by $2.08 billion. This means that in
order to fulfil the target, the country would have to achieve the
average of $1.04 billion in the remaining two months. In the last
two months, on the other hand, the monthly average of exports has
been $692 million.

The same period saw imports also going up by 10.9 per cent to $8.3
billion. Official circles attributed this to rise in petroleum
prices.

  In fact, however, there was a sharp spurt in quantity of petroleum
crude import imported in some months of the current financial year.

Despite substantial growth in exports during the year, the
percentage of imports covered by imports shows a decline from 84%
to 83.3% in the last ten months.

Nevertheless, the export figures for the month of April show an
encouraging turn-around from the negative growth of exports during
March,2000. During April, the exports totalled $729 million, up 6
per cent from March, 2000. The performance comes out to be still
more impressive when compared with April, 2000, showing an increase
of 18%.

Another encouraging feature of the month of April 2000 was that it
registered 7.5% drop in imports, compared to March 2000. Imports
during the month totalled $836 million. This was probably due to
declining trend of petroleum prices over the past month.

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20000513
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Most ISPs reluctant to reduce rates
-------------------------------------------------------------------

KARACHI, May 12: The euphoria created after Federal Minister for
Science and Technology Dr Attaur Rahman announced a 53 per cent
reduction in bandwidth charges from May 1 has died down owing to
the disappointing attitude
  of a majority of internet service providers (ISPs) against the
government decision.

Barring Cybernet which declared a reduction in its rates on
Thursday, there seems to be a lukewarm response from the remaining
ISPs which are reluctant to pass on the benefit to subscribers.

An information technology (IT) expert, when questioned, opined that
unless the government resorted to strict measures for implementing
its decision, the proliferation of IT in the country would remain a
forlorn entity.

In wake of the non-implementation of government directives by the
ISPs, general consumers, specially students, have expressed strong
resentment over the situation, as most of them cannot afford the
escalating cost of computer installation and line maintenance.

They had pinned high hopes on the outcome of the government
announcement but to no avail. Internet users have urged the
government to ensure implementation of reduced rates at the
earliest.-PPI

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20000508
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Telecom services: Licences to be finalized within 7 days
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, May 7: Minister for Science and Technology Attaur Rahman
said on Saturday that the government was taking a number of steps
to facilitate the Pakistanis, at home and abroad, in the field of
information technology,
  especially in the telecom sector, said a press release.

The most significant change made recently was that the licences for
various value-added telecom services which required 120 days, after
an application was made, would henceforth be decided within seven
days by the Pakistan telecommunication authority, he said.

The Pakistan telecommunication authority had been asked to receive
and entertain applications from companies throughout the year
instead of following the existing procedure of receiving
applications through advertisements for issuance of licences to
operate the existing value-added services like electronic
information services, audiotex services, voice mail, cable
television and trunk radio services.

 From now onward licensing would be a continuous process. The
minister approved the policy of disposing of licence applications
for the value-added telecom Services within seven days.

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20000513
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KSE 100-share index breaches 1,700-point barrier
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, May 12: The KSE 100-share index on Friday breached the
psychological barrier of 1,700 point, second in a week as bears
were not inclined to loosen their tight grip and continued
unloading long positions
in leading base shares. It ended off 51.20 points at 1,672.47.

After breaching the barrier of 1,800 point earlier in the week, it
showed a resistance to further decline in mid-week trading but as
negative news did not allow investors to take new positions even on
the blue chip counters, it ended further shaded at the weekend
session.

Owing to the weakness of PTCL and some other pivotals, which
together hold a weightage of over 50 per cent in the KSE 100-share
index, it finished with an extended fall of 51.20 points or three
per cent and breached the second barrier of 1,700 point at 1,672.47
points in a week as compared to 1,723.67 a day earlier.

"It may not fall from the 1,650 point resistance level", a leading
stock analyst at Ali Husain Rajabali said adding, "I foresee a
robust recovery from this point".

But the fall was massive in the overvalued and blue chip shares as
investors were in a hurry to get out of the market amid rumours of
further decline on renewed selling.

"What worried investors most was steep decline in most of the
leading MNCs, reflecting the advent of foreign selling owing partly
to continued bearish spell", dealers said.

Unlike the last couple of sessions, there was, however, no panic
rings as investors seem to have fathomed the realities behind the
arrest of some top industrialists for alleged financial
irregularities, floor brokers said.

But a section of leading investors was still worried over reports
that the current crackdown on big business will continue and some
more "big fish" will be in the net during the next few days.

"The arrests may not have lost its relevance to stock trading but
the market has certainly come to terms with the developing
situation", analysts at the KASB & Co believe.

Presence of strong covering purchases despite weekend
considerations reflect a change of mind at the investors and that
could signal the demise of a bear market, they added.

There is a loud whispering in the market that the two top players
who have pulled down the market because of their infighting beyond
its technical mandate now have come to terms and signalled to
behave properly, some dealers claim.

"Over 300 point or 15 per cent decline from 2,050 to 1,723 points
in the KSE 100-share index just in a week speaks of the intensity
of the bear and bull fight", said a member of the KSE.

Analyst said, indications are that the market may not fall further
Punjab-selling is drying up progressively and the return of
investors at the lower levels could push the market to its recently
established chart point as did it fell.

Leading MNCs, which fell sharply were led by BOC Pakistan, Engro
Chemical, Knoll, Singer Pakistan, Shell Pakistan and Lever
Brothers, falling by Rs7.00 to 45.00.

Other prominent losers were led by Dewan Salman, Pakistan
Oilfields, General Tyre, Dawood Hercules, Al-Ghazi Tractors and
many others, falling by Rs4.00 to 5.00. But the largest fall was
noted in Dawood Cotton, which was quoted spot after falling by
Rs15.00.

Back to the top
=================================================================== 
 EDITORIALS & FEATURES
20000512
-------------------------------------------------------------------
So what's new?
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ayaz Amir

TO THE long list of its other achievements the government has added
a desert trophy: its handling of the drought crisis afflicting the
forgotten corners of Pakistan. If there is any close parallel to
this exercise in inertia it lies in the Yahya regime's response to
the cyclone which hit East Pakistan in late 1970.

While a tidal wave of death and destruction swept over the eastern
wing, the military government was slow to respond, paralysed by
what I can only think of as a sense of remoteness. East Pakistan
and its coastal people were just too far away. Which is a bit like
the Bheels of Thar and the Koochis and other nomads of Balochistan.
Mainstream Pakistan passes them by. Imagine if the water supply of
Islamabad were to be closed for two or three days running. The
howls of anguish rising as a result would touch the heavens.

The 1970 cyclone at any rate was a sudden calamity which came
surging with little warning out of the seething waters of the Bay
of Bengal. There has been nothing sudden about the slow march of
death across the terrible deserts of Thar and Balochistan. Its grim
progress could be seen from a distance, the warning signs
deciphered almost six months ago. But true to ourselves, and to one
of our foremost national characteristics, we failed to lift a
finger in advance. The failure of anticipation was thus complete.
Everyone concerned, including the proud and independent press,
closed their eyes and their senses to the impending tragedy. When
it finally hit us we could only advertise our helplessness.

A belated and wet appeal for funds now? Why not three months ago?
Water trains to the burning hell of Balochistan now? Why not in
early spring? To be fair to the media, a trickle of reports about
drought conditions in Thar and Balochistan had started coming
through some months ago. But would anyone have cared about them?

Looking ahead, in any case, is not our game. When India set off its
nuclear firecrackers in this same dire month two years ago, we as a
nation could not look ahead two months let alone anything longer.
The BJP fire-eater, L.K. Advani, had only to issue a few tough
statements for the knights templars of Pakistani national security
(may their repeated sins be forgiven) to be stampeded into ill-
considered action. Are any tears being shed, any regrets expressed,
for that supreme act of juvenile folly? Surely not. Regret for
self-inflicted sorrows has always been as difficult for us as the
art of anticipation.

But the connecting link between these otherwise disparate
happenings remains: if we could not foresee the consequences of our
nuclear anxiety how could this government, or the administrative
structure of Pakistan, respond in time to the developing tragedy in
Thar and Balochistan?

Even so, now that the worst is upon us and likely to last for the
duration of this cruel summer, why is the government finding it so
difficult to doff its ties and dark suits and get into a semblance
of battle gear for the emergency at hand? True, the National
Security Council is a reminder of nothing so much as a slice of
Jurassic Park. True, the cabinet looks like nothing more than a
breakfast table with too many eggs on it. Even so, these guardians
of the national interest could try to look sprightly and alert.
Instead of which every screen image of them in session gives an
impression of second-rate bankers meeting in the lower reaches of
Wall Street: ties, dark suits and bottles of mineral water stacked
on the table.

Not that the people of Thar and Balochistan have much passion to
watch television these days but the feelings of ordinary Pakistanis
elsewhere might be considered. Why pour salt over them? Just
consider the contrast. Raging thirst across broad expanses of
desert. Cool looks, coiffured heads and bottles of mineral water
back at the ranch in Islamabad. Great Hollywood copy for which
reason Cecil B. de Mille would have loved it. But not smart
politics. Even Goebbels, or perhaps especially Goebbels (why is he
so maligned?), would have known better.

Perhaps at this point a dirge is in order for the helplessness of
the Pakistani people. As opposed to the drawing room classes, the
mass of the Pakistani people do not care about democracy. They are
used to authoritarian ways. In their daily lives they are used to
being kicked around by anyone who has authority over them. They
want a semblance of good government without really knowing or
realizing what good government stands for. Since there is no
democracy in their daily lives (I am not counting the newspaper
reading public or the chattering classes) and there has not been
any for the last 5,000 years, they have always looked to strongmen
to deliver them from their condition and give them an approximation
of justice and order.

But this wait is now exhausted. Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif put
them off democracy. A succession of tinpot figures have put them
off strong government. Who has caused more harm to the country? Who
has more fuelled the fires of cynicism? In this competition the
father-figures of authoritarianism beat their democratic
counterparts hollow. Benazir and Nawaz Sharif have picked the
nation's skin and done a clean job of it. General Zia, Ghulam Ishaq
Khan and his bureaucratic henchmen (some of whom are re-inventing
themselves as topdog columnists), and General Beg have broken the
nation's bones. How to put those bones together is the national
task we now face.Any genuine attempt at national reconstruction
will have to consider what to do with the upper-crust denizens of
Rawalpindi and Islamabad: drive them up the mountains or take them
down to the sea. These two cities swarm with retired mandarins and
ex-generals whose contribution to the mess we are in is second to
none. Mandarins who were experts at democratic obstructionism,
spymasters who did everything in the book to further poison the
already black atmosphere of the capital, all now posing as
bleeding-heart patriots. Even against a backcloth of surrealism
such performances would be considered amazing. Not in Pakistan
where political hypocrisy has been turned into a fine art.

General Karamat now emerging slowly (or is this too a feint?) from
self-imposed hibernation asks an important question (in a speech he
delivered somewhere): "Having been forced to take over in the
national interest, should the army apologize and retreat to the
barracks till the next government brings us to the brink of
disaster...?"

The brink of disaster indeed. Who triggered the 1965 war? Field
Marshal Ayub Khan. Who presided over the defeat of the army and the
break-up of Pakistan in 1971? General Yahya Khan. Who at disastrous
cost turned Pakistan into an American instrument during the
upheavals in Afghanistan? General Zia-ul-Haq. Who mishandled
Pakistan's role in the Gulf war? General Aslam Beg. Who failed to
foresee the consequences of dismissing Benazir Bhutto in November
1996? General Karamat (amongst several others). Who helped push
Pakistan into its nuclear tests in May 1998? General Karamat. Who
wrote the script for the Kargil adventure? My eyes grow dim and my
imagination fails me here.

To the study of the past, a past responsible for our disastrous
present, we should bring if not great intellectual rigour (not to
be found on our supermarket shelves) at least an open mind. In the
hammam (Turkish sauna) that is the higher politics of Pakistan no
one is innocent. All of us, barring the hapless masses, are equally
naked. So in trying to understand the causes of things, which if we
do not we will not find our way out of the woods, we must bring to
the task a measure of humility. Arrogance or a sense of
infallibility sits well on none of us.

Tailpiece: Many readers have written to ask where they could send
money for the relief effort in Thar and Balochistan. To any
convincing charity they would like to donate but not, if they can
help it, to the government which (I wonder why) they do not trust.
Someone - Muhammad Iqbal Noorani from Toronto, Canada - has even
been foolish enough to send me a draft for Rs 50,000 which I am
keeping in trust till I know where to send it. Cannot Imran Khan at
least for this summer give up his dreams of becoming prime minister
(he can return to them in autumn) and spearhead public relief
efforts for the affected areas? Who else is there? Edhi. Who else?
Hard to say.

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20000511
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Waiting for tax relief
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sultan Ahmed

AT A time when the country was expecting a substantial reduction in
furnace oil price, it has been raised by 10 per cent, without
taking into account its multiplier effect on the price as a whole.

The popular expectation was that the furnace oil price would come
down after it had been jacked up by over 40 per cent within a year,
to reflect the fall in world oil prices from 31 dollars a barrel to
23 to 25 dollars.

Minister for Petroleum Usman Ameenuddin says while the world price
of oil has come down,the furnace oil price has gone up because of
global shortage. In that case,the prices of other petroleum
products should have been lowered as the furnace oil price went up.
That is not how the oil prices move in Pakistan ever since oil
became a major revenue tool or the hobby horse of the budget-
makers, and the government began profiting greatly by that.

The finance ministry wants to pocket the difference between the
world prices and domestic tariff to make up for the fall in
revenues from other sectors, particularly industry where the growth
rate expected this year is only 1.5 per cent against the target of
5.5 per cent despite the boom in the textile sector.

According to the announced official policy while furnace oil price
would be reviewed every month,other oil prices would be reviewed on
a quarterly basis. So any relief the consumer may get in respect of
other oils will be after June if by that time the world oil prices
do not go up or the rupee does not go down further. It is more of a
'tail I win and head you lose' game with the oil sector in total
control of the government to be used as a handy revenue balancing
tool.

Mr. Ameenuddin says the world or the petroleum exporting countries
had cut down furnace oil output as the world oil price went under
10 dollars a barrel. So furnace oil price has risen by 11.78 per
cent since March and Pakistan lost Rs. 800 million on that score in
a month. And the already giddy price of that oil has been raised
from Rs. 8,800 a tonne to Rs. 9,680.

The price rise came two days after Gen. Zulfikar Ali Khan, chairman
of WAPDA had protested against the 40 per cent rise in the price
and said that either the government compensated WAPDA or let it
increase the power rates. But he is not in favour of increasing
power rates as those rates have to be kept affordable.

Now instead of the 40 per cent rise in furnace oil price he had
protested against, he has a 50 per cent rise and a larger revenue
deficit to cope with. The price rise is said to increase the
deficit of KESC by Rs. 150 million a month when it is already in
extreme financial straits.

Along with that,the gas prices too are to be raised. Finance
minister Shaukat Aziz says that will not be done before the budget.
When the furnace oil and gas prices go up, power rates will cost
more and that would increase the cost of production and exports.
Should that be done when exports went up in April by only six per
cent instead of the targeted average of 15 per cent, and industrial
output rises by 1.5 per cent against the modest target of 5.5 per
cent?

So the chambers of commerce and industry have protested against the
rise in furnace oil price and called for its withdrawal. Some
business groups clamour for a 30 per cent cut in power rates.

When Mr. Ameenuddin talks of a loss of Rs. 800 million on account
of the rise in furnace oil price, does he say that after adding the
stiff petroleum surcharge to the price or before that? He has not
clarified. It could well be after the government had its share of
high taxes on oil.

Secretary general of finance Moeen Afzal says the government is no
longer using oil surcharge as an unlimited revenue tool. He says
the government has decided on a fixed revenue cushion of Rs. 42
billion both as petroleum surcharge and sales tax, out of which the
surcharge alone would be Rs. 32 billion. That means a half of that
of Rs. 16 billion would be sales tax from that source.

But out of the total revenue or surcharge of Rs. 32 billion
expected in the whole year,it has collected Rs. 29.5 billion during
the first nine months of the year ending March 31, according to the
State Bank of Pakistan's latest quarterly report. That means it has
to collect only Rs. 2.5 million as surcharge during the last
quarter of this financial year and it could certainly have done
without the 10 per cent increase in furnace oil price.

The temptation of the government to collect as much as possible
through the petroleum surcharge is too strong for it to heed the
limit it sets for itself or the IMF prescribes. So instead of the
target of Rs. 43.4 billion it had set as petroleum surcharge,it
collected Rs. 73 billion last year as the world oil prices crashed
and set a target of Rs. 63 billion for the current year. But the
world oil prices tripled this year and so that target for the
current year was lowered to Rs. 32 billion plus Rs. 12 billion as
sales tax. But a total of Rs. 29.5 billion has already been
collected in the first nine months of the year while we have not
been told of the total sales tax collection from petroleum so far.

Agriculture has again come to the rescue of the country. That helps
the country to achieve an economic growth of 4.4 per cent against
the target of 5 per cent. That may not be very heartening but is
far better than the last year's economic growth of 3.1 per cent
with agriculture marking,an increase in output of just 0.4 per
cent. The good cotton crop and expected bumper wheat crop have made
a lot of difference and eliminated the need for importing wheat.

But the manufacturing sector's performance despite the boom in
textile sector has been very disappointing. Its increase by 1.5 per
cent compared to 4.7 per cent last year and the targeted rise of
5.5 per cent this year has a serious impact on revenues, employment
and exports. The small scale manufacturing sector has also grown by
only 5.3 per cent against the uniform growth of 8.4 per cent
claimed over the years, which possibly was more of an exaggeration.
As a result of the downturn in industry, particularly sugar, the
service sector is also expected to register a growth of only 4.5
per cent against the target of 5.3 per cent.

While a boom in agriculture which has grown by 5.4 per cent against
the target of 4.3 per cent, is good for the economy and the country
as a whole it is not a markedly tax paying sector. And yet tax
collection has improved by 18 per cent against last year's
collection but is below the target set for the current year by over
Rs. 20 billion. As a result,the budget deficit may be 5.46 per cent
of the GDP instead of the budgeted 3.3 per cent.

If no fudging of the accounts is to be done this year, unlike what
was done during the last two years, the deficit has to go up. How
the IMF with its focus on reducing budget deficit reacts to this
larger deficit remains to be seen.

The finance minister with his modernistic ways of doing things has
been singing a sweet song to the taxpayers. He wants to reduce the
number of federal and provincial taxes and lower the taxation
rates, and do away with irritants like wealth tax which produces
less revenues and more vexation to the taxpayers.

The next budget was to be the landmark for these extremely welcome
steps. But now he has said in Lahore that taxes would not be
reduced in the next budget. But if revenue generation picked up
after simplification of the tax regime,the tax rates would be
reduced in future budgets. He says simplification of the tax regime
is being done to ensure larger revenues through a broader tax base.

He has also said that the government had finalised a strategy to
broaden the tax base along with the decrease in the number in both
federal and provincial taxes. And he would present details of the
new tax structure by the end of this month, ahead of the annual
budget.

We have to have his proposals before us complete with details to
know how he proposes to minimize the procedure and maximize revenue
collection. He will rely on sales tax through which he is to
collect Rs. 44 billion more and on income tax to collect Rs. 40
billion more.

How is he going to do that without inviting an uproar from the
quarters concerned? It has been said the Bara markets have been
selling smuggled goods worth Rs. 140 billion which evaded taxes to
the extent of Rs. 40 billion. But the fact is if goods at Bara
Markets were not tax free,public purchases would not have been so
much.

So closure of the Bara markets would bring in far less as revenues
than the smugglers now earn. His assumptions and presumptions are
based on so many questionable premises, that their validity would
be known only after we have his new proposals in clear terms.


===================================================================
SPORTS
20000510
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Rain-hit Guyana Test abandoned as a draw
-------------------------------------------------------------------

GEORGETOWN, May 9: West Indies and Pakistan drew the rain-wrecked
first Test of their three-match series on Tuesday after the final
day was abandoned because the pitch was unplayable.

The entire fourth day had also been lost after a three-hour
torrential downpour on Monday morning left much of the Bourda
pitch, which lies slightly below sea level, under water.

Ground staff attempted to mop up some of the remaining water on
Tuesday morning but their task, with the outfield still soaked,
appeared impossible and another shower speeded up the inevitable.

The match had been delicately poised when bad light stopped play on
Sunday, with the West Indies on 222 for seven in reply to
Pakistan's first innings total of 288 all out.

The first two hours and 20 minutes of Sunday's play were also lost
to rain, while bad light cost the teams a further hour in the
evening.

The outcome is bound to fuel the controversy over the West Indies
Cricket Board's (WICB) decision to play at Bourda, which is
notoriously slow to drain, at the start of the rainy season.

It was the first time an attempt had been made to play a Test in
Georgetown after the end of the April, when the drier season ends.

The WICB had drawn up emergency measures to move the Test to
Jamaica after unseasonal rain during April but dry weather in the
10 days up to the match left the outfield in good condition and it
went ahead as planned.

In the event, CANA (Caribbean News Agency) radio said a move to
Jamaica would have been even more embarrassing as it had rained
there on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the first three days of the
Test.

The limited action which took place confirmed that both teams, who
meet again in Barbados starting on May 19 before the final Test in
Antigua, were stronger in the bowling than the batting department.

It was also clear that team spirit in the West Indies side had
improved greatly since Jimmy Adams, under whom the West Indies are
unbeaten in three Tests, took over as captain from Brian Lara.-
Reuters

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20000511
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Qayyum report won't affect current players
-------------------------------------------------------------------

LAHORE, May 10: The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)
Lt-Gen Tauqir Zia said on Wednesday that there is no planned match-
fixing and betting as far Pakistani players are concerned.

He made these observations while talking to newsmen at Qadhafi
stadium here.

"I think so that the present members of the team will not be
affected by the outcome of the Justice Qayyum report," he said.

He said Qayyum report will be made public within next ten days and
there will be no further delay in publicizing the report.

"I have shown and discussed this report both with President
Muhammad Rafiq Tarar, who is also the Patron of the Board, and
Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf," he said.

He said he has read the report twice and is busy making its brief
summary which will be sent to the Patron and the government for
seeking approval to make it public. Tauqir Zia said he met Justice
Qayyum last night to seek legal clarifications on some points of
the report.

"It is a well written report which thoroughly covers all aspects of
the alleged allegations of match-fixing on some cricketers and
Justice Qayyum wrote down the report after analyzing facts and
evidences," he said.

He assured that the report will not be changed in any circumstances
and whatever Justice Qayyum has recommended will be made public and
implemented.

Tauqir Zia hinted that the Qayyum report found one or two
cricketers involved in match-fixing but there was no proper
evidence in this regard to prove their involvement.

"We want to close the issue of match-fixing for ever and after
making this report public this issue will be buried," he said.

He said Pakistan's image will be at the top worldwide after the
publication of this report as it will set a unique trend to probe a
sporting issue through a judicial commission in a very well
organised manner . -APP

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20000511
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Saeed ruled out of West Indies tour
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, May 10: Saeed Anwar has finally been ruled out of the West
Indies tour after failing to recover in time for the remaining two
Tests. "He is still not match fit. We are now hoping that he would
regain fitness
for the Asia Cup which follows immediately after the West Indies
tour," chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Lt-Gen Tauqir
Zia said from Lahore.

"We have four openers in the West Indies so there is no need to
rush a reinforcement," the general added. Saeed underwent
orthoscopy on his right knee in March but is still feeling the
pain.

"I have an appointment with a specialist in Lahore on Friday. He
saw the wound earlier this week and said it (knee) doesn't look
good," Saeed said, adding: "The specialist would also watch the
video of my surgery before advising me what to do next."

Saeed said there was no point in going to the West Indies knowing
that he was not match fit. "It's pointless. I don't want to be a
liability on the team.

"It would definitely hurt when I will look back at my career
knowing that I haven't played cricket in the West Indies. But you
can't risk your team and yourself just to cherish one dream," he
said.

The former captain said he would continue his training to regain
fitness for Pakistan's tour of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

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20000507
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Tarar seeks clarifications on match-fixing report
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

ISLAMABAD, May 6: President Rafiq Tarar, the Patron of the Pakistan
Cricket Board (PCB), has sought certain constitutional, legal and
administrative clarifications on the match-fixing and betting report
from the PCB Chairman,Lt. Gen. Tauqir Zia, before announcing any
directives on its implementation.

The PCB chairman called on the president at the Aiwan-e-Sadr on
Saturday morning to discuss the implementation of the Justice Malik
Qayyum's recommendations against certain cricketers whose
involvement in the match-fixing and betting has been proven through
the one-man judicial commission.

During the half an hour meeting, the president made a few
observations with regard to constitutional, legal and
administrative points before taking any decisions on the
implementation of the Justice Qayyum report.

Talking to Dawn, the PCB chairman said that he would be leaving for
Lahore on Sunday to collect answers to the required queries sought
by the president, who is a former Supreme Court judge.

  The recently hired PCB's legal adviser, Naveed Rasool,will work
out the details on the specific observations made by the president,
it was stated.

The general said that the answers to the observations made by the
president will be completed within next week and then resubmitted
to the PCB patron.

He remained firm on making the report public within ten day's time,
when asked whether PCB would want to delay the report till the end
of the current West Indies tour.

"I don't think we have that much time on our hands," he said.

Meanwhile, a nine-line press release, issued from the President
House after the meeting, stated the president had sought
clarification on certain important points and resubmission of the
report alongwith requisite details from the PCB chairman.

It stated that the president had only received the report on Friday
and added that the president hopes that there would be no undue
delay in the matter.

It also stated that the PCB chairman apprised the president about
the steps being taken to promote cricket in the country.

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