Author Topic: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State  (Read 29633 times)

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Offline Satyagraha

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Riots erupt in Karachi as power cuts continue

>> Note: The high temperature on Sunday 5/24/09 rose to 45 degrees centigrade (113 fahrenheit).

By Shamim-ur-Rahman
Monday, 25 May, 2009

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/metropolitan/13+riots+erupt+as+power+cuts+continue-za-05

KARACHI: Furious at having been without electricity for more than 20 hours, residents of the Federal B Area and its adjoining localities took to the streets, pelted stones at passing vehicles and set two trucks on fire near Ayesha Manzil on Sunday.

The angry mob also burnt old tyres to block Shahrah-i-Pakistan. Police and Rangers arrived and controlled the situation later.

This was the second violent reaction of the area people against outages in less than a week as the Karachi Electric Supply Company failed to address the issue of load-shedding and prolonged outages, mainly caused by unattended cable faults.

Despite being a holiday the power utility was resorting to load-shedding to the tune of 500 megawatts, sources said. However, the KESC media focal persons did not respond to queries related to prolonged outages and electricity shortfall.

Due to a major power breakdown, residents of F.B Area Blocks 2, 7, 8, 9, 14 and 15, including Ayesha Manzil, Dastagir Society and Yasinabad, had spent a sleepless night.

When the electricity supply was not restored till late morning, the angry consumers reached the utility’s complaint centre in Azizabad, Block 7. There they were further infuriated on finding no official in attendance to register their complaints.

Subsequently they moved to Ayesha Manzil, where they set at least two trucks on fire, pelted stones at vehicles and burnt old tyres to block the main road to register their protest against the KESC.

Residents of Bakhsh Ali Goth in Scheme 33, Sector 14A, said they had been without electricity since Saturday evening and their complaints had not been attended.

People in many other areas of the metropolis also complained that they were experiencing prolonged outages and there was complete apathy on the part of the utility’s management in addressing the problem.

In Orangi, angry protesters stormed a complaint centre though the staff escaped before their arrival.

Public protests against the KESC over outages have also been reported in Gulistan-i-Jauhar, Surjani, Keamari, Sultanabad, Mehmoodabad, Azam Basti, Shah Faisal Colony and Malir.

Meanwhile, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s coordination committee said that the power utility’s management has completely failed to fulfil its obligation of providing uninterrupted power supply to all parts of the city.

It demanded of the authorities to nationalise the KESC so that people could get some relief in the current hot weather.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the coordination committee urged the government to realise the gravity of the problem and take concrete measures to resolve it at the earliest.

It maintained that more than 10 hours of unannounced load-shedding had ruined business and industrial activities in the metropolis, besides traumatising students and ailing people. It regretted that the privatised utility was not addressing the problem despite repeated requests.

Prolonged outages have also created serious water shortage in different parts of the city.

The coordination committee also condemned the move to increase the power tariff in the present situation, requesting the authorities concerned to immediately repeal the utility’s privatisation agreement.

It urged President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Federal Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to take serious notice of prolonged and unannounced load-shedding in Karachi and take strict action against the utility’s management over its indifference.

Tariff increase

The Karachi chapter of the All-Pakistan Organisation of Small Traders and Industries rejected the move for any further increase in power tariff.

The association said there had been 130 per cent increase in power tariff during the past 10 months, adding that any further increase was not acceptable to it. Traders warned the authorities concerned that they would not pay taxes if their problems were not solved.

In addition to the losses of billions of rupees due to power outages, traders claimed that they had suffered a loss of Rs11.68 trillion due to 11 days of closures on the pretext of strikes and protests since April 28.

And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Satyagraha

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Pak-Iran gas pipeline accord within a fortnight

'Pakistan Times' Wire Service
http://www.pakistantimes.net/pt/detail.php?newsId=946

TEHRAN: Pakistan and Iran will sign the formal agreement for the multi-billion dollar gas pipeline project in a third country within the next 15 days, Advisor to Prime Minister on Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain said on Sunday.

He said the two countries on Sunday signed a final consultative process document as well as an inter governmental framework document of the gas pipeline project known as IPI. Under the document signed on Sunday between the Iranian National Oil Company and Interstate Gas System of Pakistan, Iran will provide 750 million cubic feet of gas per day to Pakistan for the next 25 years.

The advisor termed the agreement to sign the deal a breakthrough. He said negotiations were going on for the last ten years on the IPI and today it was a big achievement for Pakistan owing to the efforts of President Asif Ali Zardari. He said once Pakistan starts getting Iran gas supply, it will greatly help overcome the country’s energy needs.

Minister for interior Rehman Malik said that it was a great achievement for Pakistan to supplement and overcome the energy crisis back home. Pakistan had made it clear to Iran that it was ready to sign the agreement even if India opts out.

Some 1,100 kilometers of pipeline would be laid in Iran’s territory and 1000 kilometers in Pakistan. Construction of the pipeline is to be completed in five years.
 
Meanwhile, Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit said on Sunday that Pak-Iran gas pipeline  project has been signed at trilateral summit in Iran. He said work on this project would be started in three to four years. He said under the agreement Iran would supply 23 million cubic meter gas per day for 25 years, adding the agreement could be extended for additional five years.     

Replying to a question, he said it was agreement between Pakistan and Iran, however, the  agreement had provisions to include India if it wanted to join the project.  The spokesman said  the trilateral framework had been institutionalized  and  second summit would he held in October in Pakistan. He said mechanism was  being evolved to give concrett shape to various projects  in different sectors including security, energy, transportation  and railway link.

And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Satyagraha

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War-struck wheat crops

Farmers in Pakistan’s northwest were preparing for a bumper harvest when a punishing military assault against Taliban fighters sent them fleeing their homes. They fear hardship and hunger as crops spoil in untended fields, with aid agencies warning that it could take years for farmers to recover. Aerial bombardments, shelling and fierce battles between government troops and Islamist insurgents in the rugged northwest have uprooted about 1.5 million from their homes since the onslaught began on April 26. Most of them were farmers who abandoned fields of wheat, maize, vegetables and rice, which now lie rotting as the battles rage.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/media-gallery/15-war-struck-wheat-crops-nf-03?pageDesign=new_mg_wht_detail6-1

===================================================

Crops rot on Pakistan battle lines

By Charlotte McDonald-Gibson – 3 days ago (5/22/09)

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jij8B7o_ok7saRm-XVEyWjMbH8IA

YAR HUSSAIN CAMP, Pakistan (AFP) — Farmers in Pakistan's northwest were preparing for a bumper harvest when a punishing military assault against Taliban fighters sent them fleeing their homes.

They fear hardship and hunger as crops spoil in untended fields, with aid agencies warning that it could take years for farmers to recover.

Aerial bombardments, shelling and fierce battles between government troops and Islamist insurgents in the rugged northwest have uprooted about 1.5 million people from their homes since the onslaught began on April 26.

Most of them were farmers who abandoned fields of wheat, maize, vegetables and rice, which now lie rotting as the battles rage.

"I have left it at the mercy of Allah, only he can now look after my fields and my crop," said 68-year-old Fazal Karim, standing under the scorching sun outside his tent at Yar Hussain camp just south of the fighting.

Karim grows onions, wheat and rice on five acres (two hectares) of land in a small village in the fertile Swat valley, but as Taliban fighters infiltrated his hometown, he left the cool mountains for the dusty government-run camp.

"The wheat crop was almost ready. I think I should forget about my crop. It will ruin me financially and I will have no money to live," he told AFP.

Agriculture accounts for about 20 percent of Pakistan's gross domestic product, and many people depend on the land in Buner, Lower Dir and Swat districts, where the military has gone on the offensive against the Taliban.

North West Frontier Province is Pakistan's second largest source of fruit and vegetables after Punjab province, and is a key wheat producing area.

Dominique Frankefort, emergency coordinator with the UN World Food Programme, said the timing of the military offensive was "very unfortunate."

"It is harvest season right now, so if they miss this harvest, it is going to be another 12 months before they can produce their own food," he told AFP.

Currently, donor response to the humanitarian crisis is sluggish, he said, and the United Nations is struggling to come up with the money needed to feed internally displaced persons (IDPs) until the end of the year.

When they do finally start trickling back to their home villages, they will need even more support, as many of the displaced are dependent on their land not just for income, but food for their families.

"People will face a lack of food and income very soon, even when the conflict is over," said Rienk Van Velzen, regional communications director for aid agency World Vision.

"These people live on a very minimum already, and then they had to flee and leave everything behind. Is it being looted? We don't know, but they end up in an even poorer situation than they were already."

Faizul Bari, emergency coordinator for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, said they urgently needed 20 million dollars from donors to start providing families with seeds for replanting.

Without it, he told AFP, it would be three years before farmers could live without the help of aid agencies and a government itself in dire straits.

But confusion abounds about the situation in the conflict zone, with the interior minister Sunday saying it was safe to return to Lower Dir and Buner.

Hundreds of people flooded onto a road heading to Buner two days later, said an AFP photographer, piled on tractors and carrying scythes for harvesting their fields, desperate to reach their crops.

But shelling continued ahead and the road remained closed.

Muhammad Zaman, a 45-year-old wheat farmer from near Swat's main town of Mingora, says he only has a 10-day window before his crop is ruined, but is not hopeful of leaving Yar Hussain camp any time soon.

"I can't go to my area and harvest because of the curfew. The area is infested with Taliban," he said. "I don't think I will be able to save my crop. There will be nothing left."
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Satyagraha

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Iran ready to provide 1,100 MW power to Pakistan   

http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=178944

Friday, May 22, 2009
By Qudssia Akhlaque

ISLAMABAD: Iran and Pakistan as two key states of the region are better poised to find genuine solutions to the problems of Afghanistan as all the three nations share common geography, history, culture and social values.

This was the view presented by Iranian Ambassador Mashallah Shakeri as raison d’Ítre for the first trilateral summit being hosted by President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with his counterparts from Pakistan and Afghanistan on Sunday.

Although, not formally announced by the Foreign Office, President Asif Ali Zardariís spokesman Farhatullah Babar confirmed his participation in the Tehran Summit on May 24 when contacted by The News on Thursday.

Mashallah Shakeri, in an exclusive interview with The News ahead of his departure for the upcoming summit, asserted in what could be a veiled message to the US: “In the context of problems in Afghanistan, we believe that Iran and Pakistan are the right countries and right platform to find good, genuine solutions.”

While advocating a regional approach to the Afghanistan question, he observed: “The overriding objective of the summit is to evolve a common approach and have a unified strategy to address the Afghanistan problem and other grave issues that plague the region.” Underlining the significance of the Tehran trilateral summit, the Iranian ambassador pointed out that it was the first time that leaders of the three important neighbouring countries would collectively approach the pressing common transborder issues, including terrorism, militancy and narcotics.

To a question about the key agenda items of the trilateral summit, he said the three presidents would identify the existing issues, prioritise problems and adopt a joint strategy to address the issues of common concern such as narcotics and transborder crimes. Infrastructure and human resource development in Afghanistan require urgent attention, he stated.

Apparently to make sure that expectations from the maiden summit are not raised too high, the Iranian ambassador hastened to point out: “This is only the first step forward. We will sit around a common table, negotiate and may be in time come up with a common strategy.”

When asked if in future there was a possibility of the US also sitting around the same table, his immediate response was: “Well this question is quite unexpected and I need to reflect on it.”

Perhaps in view of the recent conciliatory overtures by Washington toward Tehran, the Iranian ambassador was careful not to outright rule out such a possibility. After a brief pause, he added: “We have received no signal in this regard.”

Ambassador Shakeri was equally non-committal on whether the strategy adopted at the trilateral summit hosted by US President Barack Obama in Washington earlier this month with his Pakistani and Afghan counterparts to tackle similar issues would also be discussed at the Tehran Summit. His view was that although he was unaware of the details of the strategy, it may be in parts different from the regional approach for solution of the problems. “There may be certain commonalities, contradictions and some overlapping,” is how he summed it up.

During the daylong summit, the three leaders will hold discussions on a trilateral mechanism to stem the tide of insurgency and militancy in Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as drug smuggling and other transborder crimes, diplomatic sources maintained.

Ambassador Mashallah Shakeri said on the sidelines of the summit, the Iranian President would also hold bilateral talks with President Zardari that would cover all aspects of Pakistan-Iran relations. High on the agenda would be the draft agreement of the proposed multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline project, which is now in its final stages.

Ambassador Shakeri sounded confident that the agreement on IPI (Iran, Pakistan & India) gas pipeline, also known as the Peace Pipeline, would be finalised this month when a Pakistani delegation headed by Dr Asim Hussain would visit Tehran in the next few days. His hunch was that the agreement could be signed by next month. Responding to a question he said Iran would definitely prefer signing of the agreement at the highest level given that IPI was a mega project.

On further collaboration in the energy sector, he said in the immediate term Iran was willing to help Pakistan meet its power deficit. “Iran is ready to supply more than 1,135 Megawatts of electricity to Pakistan and is ready to sign the contract,” he declared.

The Iranian ambassador maintained this could be possible within two years provided that Pakistan builds the required transmission infrastructure within this period, adding that in this regard certain issues needed to be discussed between the two sides.

Other issues that would figure in the bilateral meeting between the two presidents would include border-related issues, trade, rail and road links, Ambassador Shakeri said.

Although, he did not mention it, there are indications that during President Zardari’s one-day visit to Tehran, the Iranian president would offer assistance for rehabilitation of the internally displaced persons in Pakistan due to the ongoing military operation against militants in the Malakand Division.
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

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  • RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT 2012
Great stuff Friend.     I will also post whatever I find here

Offline bigron

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Iran, Pakistan sign gas export deal - media

Sun May 24, 10:56 am ET
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090524/india_nm/india398471
 
TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran and Pakistan signed a framework agreement on Sunday to export Iranian natural gas to the neighbouring country during a visit by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to Tehran, Iranian news agencies reported.

India had been part of the $7 billion so-called "peace pipeline" project, but stayed away from talks in September saying it wanted to agree transit costs through Pakistan on a bilateral basis first.

Iran and Pakistan had agreed on a revised price formula and a new price review mechanism in December which updated terms reached in 2006 during long-running negotiations on the project

Iranian media had reported the two sides started a fresh round of talks in Tehran on Friday, quoting one Iranian official as saying a date would be set to finalise the deal during the two-day talks.

Sunday's reports by the Fars News Agency and the Oil Ministy website SHANA did not make clear whether issues remained outstanding before the deal could be finalised.

Iran, which sits on the world's second-biggest gas reserves, imports roughly about as much gas as it exports. U.S. sanctions have been a factor hindering Tehran's export plans, which tries to become a major gas exporter.

An Iranian Oil Ministry official has said he hoped that the commencement of gas delivery would start five years after the contract was signed, adding both Iran and Pakistan would welcome India if it decided to join the project.


Offline Satyagraha

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Report from IMF:  Q&A about Pakistan program…
(aka "The Shock Doctrine" (by Naomi Klein) in action)
Last Updated: April 24, 2009
________________________________________
Q1. What are the advantages to Pakistan of undertaking an IMF-backed program?
A. Financing from the IMF will contribute to easing the pace of adjustment, as well as to restoring macroeconomic stability and investor confidence. In particular, IMF financial support will help fill the external financing gap, rebuild international reserves, and catalyze additional external assistance from Pakistan’s development partners. Additional assistance from donors is essential to finance the expanded social safety net and allow for higher spending on development programs.
________________________________________
Q2. How did Pakistan get into these balance of payments difficulties to begin with?
A. Pakistan’s macroeconomic situation deteriorated significantly in 2007/08 and the four months of 2008/09 on account of domestic and external factors. Adverse security developments, large exogenous price shocks (oil and food), and global financial turmoil buffeted the economy. These shocks, combined with policy inaction during the political transition to a new government led to slower growth, higher inflation, and a sharp deterioration of the external position.
________________________________________
Q3. What is the conditionality associated with this loan?
A. The loan supports the authorities' program, which has two key objectives: (i) restoring macroeconomic stability and confidence in the economy through a significant tightening of macroeconomic policies, and (ii) ensuring social stability and adequate support for the poor. The conditionality associated with IMF financing reflects the targets and policies set out by the Government to meet these two objectives.
These targets, and the associated conditionality, focus on quarterly quantitative targets for: government borrowing from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the budget deficit, international reserves and net domestic assets of the State Bank of Pakistan, contracting or guaranteeing of non-concessional loans by the public sector, and external arrears. There are also specific commitments for improving banking and tax legislation, strengthening the social safety net for poor households (including working with the World Bank to develop a more comprehensive and better targeted social safety net), phasing out electricity subsidies, reducing foreign exchange market intervention by the State Bank of Pakistan, working toward the elimination of inter-corporate circular debt, and adopting a single Treasury account.
________________________________________
Q4. How has Pakistan performed under the Fund-supported Program?
A. Initial developments since the approval of the program have been generally positive. Policy implementation has been good and the program remains on track. All quantitative performance criteria and the structural benchmarks for the first program review were met. The exchange rate has been broadly stable, and the State Bank has been purchasing foreign exchange on a net basis. As a result, gross reserves have strengthened. Despite improved confidence, credit and broad money demand growth have been somewhat slower than originally envisaged. The end-December fiscal deficit target, which proved challenging, was achieved through a combination of revenue and expenditure measures. The roll-out of a scorecard as an objective targeting mechanism for identifying poor households has started, which constitutes an important step toward improving the effectiveness of the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP).
________________________________________
Q5. What contingency measures are the authorities considering if things turn out worse than expected?
A. The authorities believe the program is well-designed and adequate to address the current economic challenges. However, if things turn out worse than expected and contingency measures become necessary, the authorities are open to considering a further tightening of fiscal and monetary policies. The authorities are also confident that additional financial support will be forthcoming from bilateral donors.
________________________________________
Q6. Why did the Fund initially ask Pakistan to raise interest rates when in other countries the Fund is suggesting monetary easing?
A. The Fund believes that each country's interest rate policy should reflect its own situation and economic objectives. In Pakistan's case, a tightening of monetary policy was necessary to restore confidence in the Pakistani rupee, help rebuild international reserves, and ensure that the domestic financing requirement of the government is met through market placements of government securities. To this end, higher interest rates were needed. The increase in interest rates in mid-November 2008 benefited domestic savers and reduced the implicit subsidy received by borrowers. It has also helped reduce inflation, which helps the poor. ________________________________________
Q7. Going forward, is there room to lower interest rates?
A. The authorities have lowered the policy interest rate by 100 basis points on April 20, 2009. Looking forward, there may be scope for lowering interest rates further, provided that inflation continues to decline, international reserves are further strengthened, and the government continues to avoid recourse to SBP financing.
________________________________________
Q8. At the G-20 summit in November, there was agreement among ministers that fiscal stimulus was necessary to help countries deal with the financial crisis. Why is the Fund advocating fiscal tightening in the case of Pakistan?
A. Not all countries are in a position to undertake fiscal stimulus. Some emerging economies (China, for example) and some advanced economies (such as the U.S.) have stronger fiscal and external positions, and a fiscal stimulus is needed to deal with recessionary pressures associated with the global financial crisis. Pakistan, on the other hand, faces severe balance of payments pressures stemming in part from loose financial policies. The global financial crisis is a contributory but not the principal cause of macroeconomic imbalances in Pakistan. Further, although economic activity has slowed, Pakistan’s, the economy is still growing. Accordingly, fiscal and monetary tightening are needed to address Pakistan’s macroeconomic imbalances.

________________________________________
Q9. Is the Fund insisting on cutting back development expenditures? Military expenditures?
A. The Government’s program targets a reduction in the budget deficit to more sustainable levels. The program seeks to achieve this reduction by raising revenues and restraining expenditures in 2008/09, including by phasing out fuel and electricity subsidies and better prioritizing development spending. Fund staff is more concerned about aggregate spending and the revenue targets than their detailed composition. However, given the importance of adequate funding for priority development projects in Pakistan, the Fund-supported program includes adjustors’ allowing for higher than projected development spending if external assistance turns out to be higher than envisaged in the program. The program also makes specific provisions to ensure an appropriate level of poverty-related spending in 2008/09 and the future. The elimination of energy subsidies is expected to create fiscal space for higher development expenditures in 2009/10. Military expenditures were not part of the discussions.
________________________________________
Q10. The program calls for fiscal restraint and monetary tightening. Won't this hinder the government's ability to invest in health and education?
A. Fiscal restraint and monetary tightening should not hinder the government's ability to invest in health and education, and the program allows for continued spending in these areas, as well as for expanding the social safety net. Over the medium term, the strong tax effort envisaged in the program will help create the fiscal space needed for higher expenditures on health, education, and physical infrastructure.
________________________________________
Q11. The program calls for the removal of energy and electricity subsidies-which will adversely affect the poor. How does the program plan to protect the poor from these price increases?
A. Developing an effective and well financed social safety net to ease the burden of macroeconomic adjustment on the poor is a high priority, which the Fund fully supports. The Government’s program envisages strengthening and better targeting the social safety net to protect the poor and cushion the impact of the elimination of subsidies on vulnerable groups. Social safety net spending is targeted to increase by 0.6 percentage points of GDP in 2008/09, to 0.9 percent of GDP, and the government agreed with World Bank staff on a reform of the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) through the introduction of an objective targeting mechanism. This reform is based on a scorecard system for identification of poor households. The roll-out of this system in 16 districts (pilot phase) is expected to be completed by May 2009, while the roll-out to all 130 districts would be completed between December 2009 and June 2010. Also, electricity tariffs incorporate a “lifeline” minimum tariff that will shield low-income households consuming small amounts of electricity from tariff increases. Additional external assistance is being sought from bilateral donors to cover the cost of the expanded social safety net.
The targeted reduction in inflation will also help the poor. The poor are most severely affected by the current high level of inflation because they do not have the ability to protect themselves through investment in assets such as foreign exchange and real estate.
________________________________________
Q12. Will agricultural income be taxed under the program?
A. The IMF-supported program does not envisage a new tax on agricultural income.
________________________________________
Q13. What will the charges be for this loan? Is Pakistan paying more than other countries who are borrowing from the Fund? Why were the previous loans to Pakistan much cheaper?
A. Pakistan is paying the same rate as other countries that have stand-by arrangements. Stand-by arrangements are subject to the IMF's market-related interest rate, known as the "rate of charge," and carry a level based surcharge. Large loans, i.e., credit above 200 percent of a member’s quota carry a surcharge of 100 basis points above the regular rate of charge, and the surcharge rises to 200 basis points for use of credit above 300 percent of quota. Based on today's interest rates, the average charge that Pakistan would pay when it has the full amount of $7.6 billion outstanding is about 3 percent.
In the past, Pakistan had both stand-by arrangements and an arrangement under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). Loans under the PRGF carry an annual interest rate of 0.5 percent. However, PRGF loan amounts available are limited to a maximum of 185 percent of quota for the initial three-year arrangement, and then to 90 percent of quota for second time the facility is used. Given Pakistan's large financing needs, borrowing under the PRGF was not an option.
________________________________________
Q14. Will the loan that Pakistan is receiving from the Fund be used to repay bondholders? Will it be used for anti-terrorism military operations?
A. Disbursements of the IMF loan will be made to the State Bank of Pakistan to rebuild the international reserves position. At the same time, the program assumes that the government will remain current in all its external obligations. The IMF money will not be used to finance budgetary expenditures nor anti-terrorism military operations.
________________________________________
Q15. What is the Fund’s view about the outcome of the donor meeting in Tokyo? How will the pledged money help Pakistan?
A. The donor meeting was very successful and delivered financial assistance of $5 billion. The money will provide Pakistan with much needed additional fiscal space in these difficult times and help finance social spending. This generous support from donors is very welcome with domestic revenues under pressure because of the recession. To sustain the additional spending in the medium term, however, it remains crucial that Pakistan raises tax revenue.
________________________________________
For more information on the program see: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.cfm?sk=22517.0
IMF EXTERNAL RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
Public Affairs        Media Relations
Phone:   202-623-7300      Phone:   202-623-7100
Fax:   202-623-6278      Fax:   202-623-6772
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Satyagraha

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IMF concerned over Pakistan’s efforts on revenue collection

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2009%5C02%5C22%5Cstory_22-2-2009_pg7_38
* IMF’s executive board likely to approve second installment by March

Sunday, February 22, 2009
Staff Report

KARACHI: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Saturday expressed concern over Pakistan’s efforts on revenue collection, with the authorities saying they were unlikely to meet the annual target, official sources told Daily Times.

Pakistan and the IMF on Saturday began talks in Dubai for the release of the $775-million second tranche of the fund’s loan for Islamabad. The sources said the IMF delegation, was, however, satisfied with the overall macroeconomic targets of the country, including the GDP growth rate, the inflation level, tax collection, foreign direct investment, the privatisation process and the export and import targets.

The meeting between Pakistan and the IMF that started on February 14 and would continue until the 26th, is reviewing the second tranche of IMF’s loan for Pakistan. IMF’s executive board is expected to approve the second installment by March.

Finance Secretary Dr Waqar Masood is heading the Pakistani delegation, which includes External Wing Joint Secretary Mumtaz Malik, Additional Secretary Asif Bajwa and representatives from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Federal Board of Revenue.

Finance Adviser Shaukat Tareen is to join the discussions in Dubai on February 25 for a final round of talks.

A Finance Ministry official said Pakistan had achieved all envisaged IMF targets.

The fiscal deficit stood at 1.9 percent of the GDP for the July-December period against the set target of 2 percent.

He said the government had agreed to freeze its borrowing from the SBP at Rs 258 billion, which stood at Rs 203 billion on December 31, 2008. The FBR had also met a shortfall of Rs 53.48 billion in the federal tax collection during the first seven months of 2008-09 fiscal.

============================================================================================

Pakistan can let deficit grow to protect spending: IMF


Mon May 11, 2:48 pm ET
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090511/bs_wl_afp/financeeconomyimfpakistan

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The International Monetary Fund on Monday said that Pakistan has room to raise its fiscal deficit to protect crucial spending as it makes progress in coping with the global economic crisis.

An IMF staff mission that met last week with Pakistani government and central bank officials in a second review of Pakistan's progress under a 7.6-billion-dollar IMF emergency loan program found the country "on track" with reforms, the multilateral institution said in a statement.

The discussions in Dubai focused on Pakistan's fiscal program and financing needs as the country struggles with macroeconomic troubles over the past two years that have been aggravated by the global financial and economic crisis.  "The slowing economy, additional donor support, and the need to protect priority expenditures call for a relaxation of the fiscal deficit target for 2009-2010," the IMF mission leader, Adnan Mazarei, said in the statement.  "This relaxation would provide fiscal space to absorb additional donor support, boost growth, and increase social, development, and security spending, including for internally displaced persons," Mazarei said.

The IMF mission reached "preliminary understandings" with Pakistani authorities to increase the 2009-2010 deficit target up to 4.6 percent of gross domestic product, up from the original target of 3.4 percent of GDP.  The increase in the gap will "provide for additional spending associated with donor support -- of up to 1.2 percent of GDP," the statement said.

At an aid meeting in Tokyo on April 17, donor countries pledged a total of 5.28 billion dollars to stabilize poverty-stricken Pakistan, seen as a frontline state against Islamic extremism.  More than half of Pakistan's people live below the poverty line of two dollars a day.  The IMF found that the Pakistani authorities had expressed "strong resolve" to strengthen the economy and broaden the social safety net.
The IMF advised the central bank, the State Bank of Pakistan, to hold its key interest rate unchanged, at 14 percent, after slashing it by a percentage point on April 20.

"Given the persistence of inflation, the decision on any further cut in the SBP?s discount rate will await a significant decline in core inflation," Mazarei said.

The 23-month, 7.6-billion-dollar Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) for Pakistan announced on November 24 was approved under the IMF's fast-track Emergency Financing Mechanism procedures.  The IMF disbursed about 3.1 billion dollars of the loan on November 26, 2008, and a second payment of some 847 million dollars on April 1.

The IMF said the staff and Pakistani authorities will continue discussions over the next few weeks to complete the second review under the loan program.

And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline bigron

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  • RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT 2012
wow !!!
Great stuff !!

Offline Satyagraha

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Thanks bigron - I hate those scum-sucking money-grubbing banker-bully sociopaths at the IMF. They like nothing better than to 'extend' loans; and the control they get when they bring a country to its knees. Here's an article I found that makes some criticisms about the IMF in general.

A New Life for the IMF: Capitalizing on Crisis

http://www.multinationalmonitor.org/mm2009/032009/weissman.html

by Robert Weissman
MAR/APR 2009
VOL 30 No. 2

April's G-20 meeting - involving the heads of state of 20 of the world's most economically powerful countries - failed to yield an agreement on increased European stimulus spending or on new global financial regulatory rules. But it did feature one overriding tangible agreement: A commitment to expand massively the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in order to channel funds to developing countries rocked by the financial crisis.

The G-20 countries agreed to give the IMF up to $750 billion in new resources, three times more than it currently controls. The G-20 also pledged to provide $250 billion in trade financing to developing countries, and to channel $100 billion to low-income countries through multilateral developing banks.

Fleeing foreign investors, plummeting remittance earnings, falling commodity prices and shrinking export markets are devastating developing countries, leaving them in dire need of infusions of hard currency. The IMF money is intended to fill the developing countries' financing gap, and also contribute to the global stimulus effort.

But IMF critics warn that the Fund is requiring countries to implement contractionary policies, such as higher interest rates and lower government spending, that are the opposite of the expansionary policies pursued by rich countries, and that will undermine the stimulative intent of the promised new money.

The Hardest Hit

Developing countries are in desperate need of additional finance. Although they had nothing to do with mortgage-backed securities or credit default swaps, developing countries are getting worst hit by the global economic meltdown.

Eastern European countries benefited for a time from the financial bubble, as an infusion of loans from Western European banks helped pump up investment and consumer spending. With the financial crisis, the banks are unwilling to roll over loans. With the countries already running major trade deficits, the pull back in foreign bank lending has sent countries' currencies plummeting. As a result, Eastern European countries have been the worst hit by the crisis.

But no part of the world is escaping from the crisis. The World Bank predicts growth rates in Latin America will fall 5 percent in 2009, in East Asia by almost 3 percent, in South Asia by 2 percent and in sub-Saharan Africa by 2.5 percent.

The World Bank conservatively estimates that, due to the crisis, 53 million more people will be trapped in deep poverty - meaning they must subsist on less than $1.25 a day - than would have been the case.

"Conditions of recession are affecting the world's poorest people, making them more vulnerable than ever to sudden shocks - but also reducing the opportunities available to them, and frustrating their hopes," says Justin Yifu Lin, World Bank chief economist and senior vice president, development economics. "This could reverse years of progress, and is nothing less than an emergency for development."

Questionable Commitments

The extent to which new resources will be made available to developing countries remains uncertain, the G-20 headlines notwithstanding.

The commitment of $750 billion to the IMF consisted of two separate pieces. The first was a promise of $250 billion to an IMF lending facility known as the New Arrangements to Borrow, with a statement that an additional $250 billion would be made available if necessary. Much of the first $250 billion will come from pledges already made to the IMF, including $100 billion provided by Japan to the Fund in February. Whether the other half of the $500 billion will ever materialize remains unclear.

The other $250 billion promised to the IMF involves issuance of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), a kind of IMF currency. SDRs will be allocated to countries according to the resources they have provided to the Fund - which means the rich countries will accumulate the vast majority of the new SDRs. Because of the special conditions attached to them, there is a good chance the rich countries will not make use of the SDRs. Some anti-poverty advocates have urged that rich countries transfer their SDRs to poor nations, but it remains very unclear if that will occur. There is also some uncertainty about the potential benefits of such a move, because countries using SDRs must pay interest to the IMF.

Whether the other money pledged at the G-20 - the $250 billion in trade financing (money lent to developing countries to buy rich country goods), and $100 billion in support through the World Bank and other multilateral development banks - ever materializes is also something that will only be revealed over time. Donor countries have a striking record of failing to fulfill aid pledges at global conferences, however.

A Lifeline for the IMF

Still, there is no question that the IMF will see a massive expansion of its resource base as a result of the financial crisis.

Just a year ago, the Fund was searching for a way to stay in business. Virtually all middle-income countries had taken advantage of booming commodity prices to pay back their loans to the IMF, and most began storing foreign currency to avoid going back to the Fund. Although the Fund maintained its dominant position in Africa and in low-income countries - which continued to need an IMF stamp of approval in order to receive aid from most foreign donors - the Fund had relied on money it earned from interest on loans to middle-income countries to pay its administrative costs. With those interest payments no longer coming in, the Fund was forced to cut staff and seek other revenue sources.

The new middle-income country demand for Fund loans, and the new resources available to the Fund, will solve the IMF's own financing troubles.

The IMF still faces the problem of countries maneuvering to avoid taking its loans, however, because of the onerous conditions traditionally attached to them.

For the past three decades, IMF loans have been accompanied by demands that countries adopt a series of market fundamentalist policies. These include deregulation (including of financial services), privatization, opening to foreign investment, orienting economies to export markets, removing protections for local producers growing food or manufacturing for the local market, removing labor rights protections, cutting government budgets, raising interest rates, and more.

But now, says the new IMF Managing Director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, those days are gone. In March, the IMF announced an overhaul of its lending framework, with the self-proclaimed purpose of reducing conditionality. It touted a new lending facility, the Flexible Credit Line, available to "strong-performing countries," which makes loans with no conditions, and can make loans for precautionary purposes. For lending programs with conditions, it indicated a softening in approach.

"These reforms represent a significant change in the way the Fund can help its member countries - which is especially needed at this time of global crisis," says Strauss-Kahn. "More flexibility in our lending along with streamlined conditionality will help us respond effectively to the various needs of members. This, in turn, will help them to weather the crisis and return to sustainable growth."

Critics remain unimpressed. The Flexible Credit Line is available to countries that least need loans - one example is Brazil, which is actually lending to the IMF - and that effectively have already adopted IMF policy prescriptions. The Fund announced only general standards for which countries would be eligible for Flexible Credit Line loans, but critics point out that, if the standards were applied honestly, even the United States would be ineligible. Among the standards are a sustainable external position and the absence of a systemic banking crisis.

The Fund also says that it is moving to apply structural conditions ex-ante (meaning before a loan is made) rather than ex-post (after the loan). But as Nancy Alexander, a Washington, D.C.-consultant and longtime IMF critic points out, this arrangement can be even more coercive than the Fund's old policies, as countries rush to impose IMF-favored policies before they can get any access to desperately needed monies from the Fund.

Strauss-Kahn further claims that conditionality will be looser. "From now on," he says, "policy conditions will be more tightly focused on core reform objectives and will allow for greater flexibility, tailored to country circumstances." Development groups express great skepticism that Fund practices will match this rhetorical claim, pointing to the IMF's most recent loans to explain their doubt.

Pro-Recession Policies

The logic of providing assistance to developing countries is to help them adopt expansionary policies in time of economic downturn. Yet the IMF is forcing countries in financial distress to pursue contractionary policies - the mirror image of the stimulative policies carried out by the rich countries (and supported by the IMF, for the rich countries).

The Fund's loans since September 2008 to countries rocked by the financial crisis almost uniformly require budget cuts, wage freezes and interest rates hikes. The first nine "IMF loans to countries affected by the crisis clearly demonstrate that the IMF is still prescribing pro-cyclical policies of fiscal and monetary policy tightening," says Bhumika Muchhala of the Penang, Malaysia-based Third World Network. "The Fund's crisis loans still contain the old policy conditions of cutting public sector expenditures, reducing fiscal deficits and increasing interest rates - which is the stark opposite of the expansionary, stimulus policies being supported in the G-20 countries."

In Ukraine, Georgia, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Pakistan, Serbia, Belarus and El Salvador, the IMF has told countries to cut government spending, an analysis by the Third World Network shows. This means less money for health, education and other vital priorities. In April, the IMF told Latvia - where the economy is expected to contract 12 percent this year - that its loans would be suspended until it further cuts spending.

"Our economy is imploding," says Inga Paparde of the Latvian AIDS activist group Association HIV.LV. "They say it will shrink 12 percent this year and our government has cut the budget by 40 percent, but the IMF is demanding a 'deficit target' of 5 percent of GDP. To reach this, we will have to shut down our hospitals and cut pensions. People are scared, and they are taking to the streets to protest these draconian measures."

The IMF also instructed almost all of the borrowing countries to raise interest rates, the Third World Network analysis shows.

An April paper from the Washington, D.C-based Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) - "Empowering the IMF: Should Reform be a Requirement for Increasing the Fund's Resources?" - argues that these kind of contractionary policies are generally inappropriate in time of economic crisis.

"The main purpose of providing balance of payments support to a developing country in a time of recession or approaching recession is to enable the government to pursue the expansionary fiscal and monetary policies necessary to stabilize the economy," the CEPR paper contends.

"The main reason that many low- and middle-income countries cannot pursue" expansionary policies like those adopted in rich countries "is that they can run into balance of payments difficulties and foreign exchange constraints," the CEPR paper explains.

For these countries, says the CEPR paper, "any increase in growth relative to the baseline will tend to worsen a country's balance of trade and therefore [its] current account balance. This is because imports will tend to grow faster than exports. Also, if investors see fiscal or monetary policies that they think will lower the value of the domestic currency, this may promote further capital flight, which worsens the balance of payments problem. Also, if the domestic currency drops precipitously, this can cause balance sheet problems in countries where the private or public sector has borrowed heavily in foreign currency."

"Thus, the purpose of providing balance of payments support, as is done through an institution such as the IMF, is preferably to allow the country to continue growing while gradually reducing its current account deficit to a sustainable level."

But this is not the perspective of the IMF. The Fund said in a March policy paper that a few poor countries might have some capacity to undertake small stimulative programs. "A few countries may have scope for discretionary fiscal easing to sustain aggregate demand depending on the availability of domestic and external financing." But even then: "All this must be done carefully so as not to crowd out the private sector through excessive domestic borrowing in the often thin financial markets."

But for countries in weak positions - the vast majority - the Fund says that, "the scope for countercyclical fiscal policies is limited."

The Fund also continues to counsel against capital controls, which could limit the ability of foreign funds to enter and flee a country easily. As a measure to address capital flight, capital controls are a potential alternative to the Fund's emphasis on tight monetary policy and reducing aggregate demand. Concludes the CEPR paper in this regard: "the Fund's preferences may cause it to reject viable options that would allow for higher growth, more employment, and lower poverty rates."

Conditionality for the IMF?

Although the G-20 countries committed to providing new resources to the IMF, they have not yet delivered most of the money. The Obama administration is seeking to provide $100 billion to the IMF as part of the $500 billion total, but these funds require Congressional approval. Congress can attach conditions to the money (as could other governments considering providing new resources to the IMF).

Development and anti-poverty groups (including Essential Action, a project of Essential Information, the publisher of Multinational Monitor) are urging that Congress demand meaningful, verifiable change at the Fund before agreeing to provide it with new monies.

"New funding should not be provided to the IMF unless the institution is subject to important reforms that will prevent the Fund from continuing and repeating the serious errors that they made in the last major crises of the 1990s," says Mark Weisbrot, co-director of CEPR and lead author of the April paper from the group.

"For years the IMF has imposed disastrous conditions on poor countries that have contributed to massive underinvestment in health, HIV/AIDS and education, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa," says Asia Russell, director of international policy for Health GAP (Global Access Project), a global AIDS advocacy group. "The G-20 must make sure the IMF abandons these policies before infusing the Fund with hundreds of billions of dollars in new resources."

Development advocates say the Fund should have to demonstrate that contractionary policies are necessary before imposing any such conditions during recessionary times. They are calling for increased health and education spending to be exempt from any budget limitations in IMF loans. And they are urging that no IMF loan agreement go into effect unless it has received parliamentary approval - most IMF loans are negotiated with finance ministries, typically in secret, and not subject to meaningful public or even parliamentary input. The refusal of the Ukrainian parliament in April to agree to IMF demands led to a renegotiated agreement that permitted the country to maintain more expansionary policies.

In a Congress that it is very reticent about taking steps that may be perceived as providing more no-strings bailout money, there is considerable interest in such proposals. At the same time, some key Members of Congress are reluctant to prescribe policy for an international institution like the IMF, and Democrats are generally eager to cooperate with the Obama administration. With these and other confounding factors, whether Congress will demand meaningful reforms in IMF policy as a condition of providing it with $100 billion thus remains very uncertain.


And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Satyagraha

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2009, 07:29:01 pm »
For a good explanation of how the IMF can squeeze the lifeblood out of poor thirdworld countries; with examples of the problems they've cause for South American countries, please see this thread:

http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=107601.new#new

If you read the descriptions in that paper, you'll see how the IMF is repeating the same cutthroat strategies in Pakistan. It is also reminiscent of the current 'take this bailout - you have no choice' tactics we're seeing now with the Fed. Same scripts.

And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline cristiano

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2009, 07:53:52 pm »
hello friends.I'm cristiano from spain.I am really concerned that Pakistan and Iran will sign the formal agreement for the multi-billion dollar gas pipeline project in a third country within the next 15 days, Advisor to Prime Minister on Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain said on Sunday.It is a very important news.
________________________________________
floating tanks
dbol

Offline Satyagraha

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2009, 10:40:02 pm »
Towards a South Asian union? ADB Loans to Pakistan....

ADB provides $ 5.3Bln for energy sector of Pakistan
'Pakistan Times;' Business & Commerce Desk
http://www.pakistantimes.net/pt/detail.php?newsId=1001

KARACHI: Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $ 5.3 billion for 60 on-going development projects for Pakistan as of July 2008, which included a financing of $ 2.166 billion for energy projects.

ADB has provided $ 1.8 billion in 2007, $ 1.2 billion in 2008 and $ 1.5 billion for 2009 to Pakistan and stands as the largest development partner of this country. These projects were in key infrastructure sectors including energy, transportation, water resources and reforms.

ADB was also the largest development partner in energy sector and across the power supply chain. The ongoing loans included $ 510 million for renewable energy, $ 800 million for power transmission, $ 810 million for power distribution enhancement. Similarly, ADB will provide $ 350 million for sustainable energy efficiency, $ 800 million for power transmission enhancement and $ 500 million for energy infrastructure under its future loan programme.

The ongoing technical assistance programme included gas sector restructuring, establishment of central power purchase agency, renewable energy policy formulation and capacity building, power distribution enhancement and energy efficiency.

To recap, ADB has recently concluded technical assistance programme for the development of Thar Coal Fields and provision of technical support to office of energy advisor to Prime Minister. Future technical assistance programme included NEPRA Institutional capacity building and energy infrastructure. In addition to this ADB is also investing in private sector energy projects including Fauji Kabirwala, Dharki Power, New Bong Hydro, Rajdhani, Winpower and LNG projects.

Credible sources say that Pakistan’s energy demand would reach over 360 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 2030 which is six times the present needs. Though Thar coal was discovered 20 years ago but not a single bankable feasibility was available for the project, the sources added.

===========================================================
What is the ADB? Asian Development Bank

ADB extends loans and provides technical assistance to its developing member countries for a broad range of development projects and programs. It also promotes and facilitates investment of public and private capital for economic and social development.

A project information document (PID) is summary information on an ADB-assisted project.
http://www.adb.org/Projects/reports.asp?key=reps&val=PID

Using a new tool to improve our performance

http://www.adb.org/Media/InFocus/2009/mfdr.asp

ADB became the first multilateral development bank to adopt a corporate-wide results management framework. The new framework, driven by our Strategy 2020, uses performance indicators and targets. These help us review the state of the region, and assess our contribution to development and operational and organizational effectiveness.

It allows managers to answer three key questions:

Are we being effective?
How do we know we are?
How do we use this information for future action?
Inspiring a results-driven culture, the framework focuses on areas ADB and our shareholders consider important. To assess and report on our performance in achieving desired corporate-wide results, ADB now uses an annual performance report—the Development Effectiveness Review. The review identifies performance issues and actions for resolving them based on four levels.

Level 1: What's happening in Asia and the Pacific?
We begin by tracking progress in the region based on selected development areas. These include poverty and human development, gross domestic product per capita, regional cooperation and integration, access to basic infrastructure, governance, and environment.

Level 2: How has ADB contributed to development?
Next, we assess our contribution to country and regional development by checking if our operations have helped achieve specific development goals.

Level 3: How effectively is ADB managing its operations?
We then look at operational-effectiveness indicators, such as operational quality and portfolio performance, finance mobilization, strategic focus in operations, knowledge development, and partnerships.

Level 4: How is ADB improving as an organization?
And finally, we measure our progress in increasing effectiveness in three key areas: use of human resources, use of budgetary resources, and business processes and practices.




And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Satyagraha

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2009, 07:06:38 pm »
IMF sees more job losses in Pakistan

By Mubarak Zeb Khan
Friday, 29 May, 2009 | 01:35 AM PST |

ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said unemployment rate is likely to increase in Pakistan owing to steep decline in foreign direct investment and remittances during the current fiscal year.

‘Unemployment is already high, and economic slowdown is likely to raise it further,’ said IMF Resident Representative Paul S. Ross while briefing newsmen on regional economic outlook here on Thursday.

‘Pakistani industries particularly the export-based industries are facing tough time in the wake of slowing down in demands for the products in the market of developed and Middle Eastern countries,’ he explained.

Mr Paul said that the budget deficit projection for the next fiscal year had been raised to 4.6 per cent from earlier 3.4 per cent of GDP. He said the economic growth for the next year would be around 3.5 per cent with inflation around 7.5 per cent, respectively.

Answering a question, he said that inflation did not decline as it was anticipated. ‘The government will have to take both monetary and fiscal measures to bring it down,’ Mr Paul suggested.

The IMF country director said the third instalment of loan would be issued in July, whereas the government of Pakistan wants more loans in addition to the ongoing $7.6 billion stand-by programme.

He said Pakistan’s request for fresh loan was under consideration. ‘The amount of the loan has yet not been finalised,’ he added.

Replying another question, he said that though Pakistan’s external debt increased manifold this year but it would be manageable. ‘It would be possible for Pakistan to pay the loan without any stress.’

Pakistan’s external debt has increased to 31.9 per cent in 2009 of GDP from 26.5 per cent in 2008.

He said that social safety net would be strengthened by improved targeting of the poor under the Benazir Income Support Programme. The internally displaced people would also be covered under the programme.

He was of the view that the Rs1.4 trillion revenue target for next fiscal year would not be a realistic one. However he added that with rising expenditures the revenue target needed to be raised accordingly.

He agreed with a questioner that delay in the re-imbursement of money on account of war-on-terror by United States may increase stress on the balance of payments of the country.

Giving details of the regional economic outlook, the IMF official said that countries in the Middle East and Central Asian region grew strongly in 2008, but the global crisis was now affecting these economies amid rising financial vulnerabilities.

‘The downturn in the advanced economies and the drop in international commodity prices have hit export earnings, investment flows and remittances of Middle East and South Asian countries,’ he said.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/business/13+imf+sees+more+job+losses+in+pakistan-za-01


Copyright © 2009 - Dawn Media Group
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Satyagraha

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2009, 07:12:01 pm »
World Bank to give $25m soft loan for NTCIP

Thursday, 28 May, 2009 | 02:10 AM PST
http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/business/13+world+bank+to+give+25m+loan+for+ntcip-za-03

ISLAMABAD: The World Bank has agreed to give a soft loan of $25 million for strengthening the National Trade Corridor Improvement Programme (NTCIP) and implementation of the Transport Facilitation Project-II (TFP-2).

Secretary Economic Affairs Division Farrukh Qayyum and World Bank Country Director Yusupha B. Crookes here on Wednesday signed the agreement.

The objective of the project is to improve the performance of the country’s trade and transport logistics by facilitating implementation of the NTCIP and the simplification and modernisation of the country’s international trade practices and procedures.

The government will repay the interest-free loan in 35 years including 10 years of grace period. However service charges at the rate of 0.75 per cent per annum and commitment charges of maximum 0.5 per cent per annum on un-disbursed balance will apply.—APP
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Satyagraha

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2009, 07:16:44 pm »
World Bank to provide $50mn for Sindh irrigation projects
By Amin Ahmed
Wednesday, 27 May, 2009 | 08:11 PM PST |

RAWALPINDI: The International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank Group has agreed to provide additional financing of 50 million dollars for improving water resource management and enhancing agricultural productivity under the Sindh On-Farm Water Management Programme (SOFWMP), official sources disclosed on Wednesday.

The proposed additional financing will focus in the areas of three participating area water boards (AWBs) of Nara Canal, Left Bank Canals and Ghotki Feeder. The total cost of the project will be 61.7 million dollars which will also include government financing of 2.7 million dollars and nine million dollars by local farmer organizations.

Sources said that the new IDA financing expected to be approved next month, will help improve the efficiency, reliability and equity of irrigation water distribution at water-course levels; support agricultural productivity enhancement measures to complement and enhance the benefits of improved water management, and enhance long-term financial sustainability of the irrigation system by fostering self-sustaining farmer organizations – Watercourse Associations – at the watercourse levels.

The original SOFWMP was approved and became effective in 2004 supporting the Sindh government in implementing five main components of the project. The total amount of credit provided was 61.14 million dollars. The project is currently rated as moderately satisfactory for both development objectives and implementation progress.

The watercourse improvement works completed under the Sindh On-Farm Water Management Programme (SOFWMP) and the National Programme for Improvement of Watercourses (NPIW) have already demonstrated the effectiveness of the intervention, especially in improving water supply and enhancing equitability of water distribution.

The project-related document says by 2010, all watercourses in the project area were expected to be improved under the ongoing NPIW. However, due to current Government budget crisis, and subsequent drastic cuts in funding, the implementation of NPIW has slowed down sharply during the fiscal year 2008-09. The inability of NPIW to complete the planned watercourse improvement works in the project area may prevent realizing the full benefits of Bank’s two ongoing projects in Sindh.

Providing additional financing to carry out the planned watercourse works in the project area would allow maximizing the overall development impacts of Bank-financed projects. Moreover, additional resources provided by the World Bank for watercourse improvement in the project area would give the Government the opportunity to reallocate some of previously earmarked funds to watercourse improvement to other equally important areas of NPIW in the province, thereby reducing fiscal strains on the Government programme.

Preliminary impact assessment and observations from field visits suggest that the improved watercourses under the project have made positive impacts in terms of enhanced and more equitable water supply and increased income by farmers, hence increasing the watercourse improvement activities would augment the positive development impacts of the project, says the report.

Both federal and provincial governments are fully committed to watercourse improvement interventions. In the wake of current fiscal crisis, the Federal Government has re-prioritized and streamlined its portfolio of ongoing and new projects and discontinued many programmes, which are considered to be of lower priority.

However, NPIW is still on Government’s list of high priority programmes and the Government is committed to complete it. During the past five years, the Government has accumulated considerable experience in implementing watercourse improvement works and has established effective and well-tested implementation mechanisms for the programme.

The entire institutional set-up and technical infrastructure of NPIW used for watercourse improvement works completed under the Project, are still in place and can be readily deployed for scaling-up activities. This will greatly facilitate the implementation process.

Under the component of watercourse improvement, around 2500 watercourses, comprising earthen improvements, lining, installation of concrete turnouts and culverts will be improved.For the enhancement of productivity, 11,000 hecates of farm land will be precisely leveld using laser-guided equipment in addition to development and dissemination of improved seeds, demonstration on tunnel farmling for high-value crops, training of farmers in improved water management and agricultural practices and new technology, and integrated pest management, and monitoring pesticide residue effects on crops.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/business/09-wb-to-provide--50mn-for-sindh-irrigation-projects-szh--06

Copyright © 2009 - Dawn Media Group

And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Satyagraha

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2009, 07:20:11 pm »
Accord on electricity trade with Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan
Business
(Pic of Karzai, Zoellick and Zardari shaking hands)
Caption: Afghan President Hamid Karzai, World Bank President Robert Zoellick and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari shake hands after announcing an energy agreement in Washington.—AFP

IPDF handling projects worth Rs230bn WASHINGTON: President Asif Ali Zardari and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai held a meeting with the World Bank president on Friday and agreed to facilitate electricity trade between Central and South Asian regions.

A joint declaration issued after the meeting said that President Zardari and President Karzai had also agreed to work with the World Bank to improve economic cooperation between the two regions. 

The two presidents and World Bank chief Robert Zoellick also discussed the development of a Central Asia-South Asia Regional Electricity Market and the Central Asia-South Asia (CASA) Transmission project. 

They noted that as a first step towards the development of this market, the CASA 1000 project would allow the export of surplus hydropower from Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic to South Asia during summer. 

Together with the government of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan an inter-governmental council was established in 2007 and a secretariat in 2008 with the objective of developing the electricity market and the CASA 1000 project. 

The four governments had also signed an inter-governmental agreement in August 2008 that expresses their commitments to the market and the CASA 1000 project. 

The two presidents noted that the development of a regional electricity market would beneficial to them and to the region. They agreed to continue to deepen their bilateral cooperation with Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan for the development of two projects.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/world/12-accord+-electricity-trade-with-tajikistan-kyrgyzstan--bi-07
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Satyagraha

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2009, 07:28:14 pm »
Illegal flow of remittances continuing, says (finance Minister) Tarin

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s federal budget for 2009-10 will be presented in the first half of June, the country’s economic manager said, although he has not been able to decide on a final date.

Advisor to the prime minister on Finance Shaukat Tarin has said here on Tuesday that the federal budget for 2009-10 will be presented either on June 6 or June 13.

‘Preparations for the budget have almost been completed but the final budget announcement date would be decided soon,’ he said talking to media at the launch of World Bank’s (WB) report on ‘Bringing finance to Pakistan’s poor’

The federal budget 2009-10 would be the first budget for Mr Tarin in capacity as the finance manager of the country.

Shaukat Tarin said that illegal channels still contribute to the major inflow of remittances into the country.

He acknowledged that the contents of the WB report that informal supply occurs through the organized hundi / hawala sector and through committees, shopkeepers, moneylenders and transfers through friends and family.

The WB report has called for easier access to finance for poor in Pakistan and added that un-official estimates of remittances to Pakistan are around $16 billion.

Mr Tarin said that though the remittances play a valuable role in supporting the economy by providing foreign exchange and improving financial strength to the individuals.

Responding to the WB report Mr Tarin said that the government has set the target to increase the outreach of the microfinance services to three million borrowers by 2010.

The report said that 14 per cent of Pakistanis were using a financial product or service of a formal financial institution including savings, credit, insurance, payments and remittance services.

While, it said that 40 per cent of adults in the country have no access to formal or informal financial systems, but the report said that if the informal financial access is taken into account around 50.5 per cent of Pakistanis have access to finance.

Shaukat Tarin said that there are 40 Microfinance providers which include seven Microfinance Bank with an overall operating base of 1,550 branches and services centers to serve a clientele of approximately two million.

‘The potential cliental base of microfinance sector is estimated to be around 25-30 million borrowers of whom a significant portion still remains unserved by both regulated and un-regulated sector,’ he added.

The advisor to the PM said that there are potentials for other products such as insurance, payments savings that could be launched through postal services network and mobile phones.

He said that increasing access to finance for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) could also be facilitated by attracting institutional investors with a track record in SME lending and assisting other banks to go down market.

The Country Director for the World Bank in Pakistan, Yusupha Crookes presented the address of the welcome and highlight the main features of the report ‘Bringing Finance to Pakistan’s Poor.’

The report said that Pakistan microfinance market has much potential for a rapid outreach expansion and faces considerable unsatisfied demand, especially for saving products.

Tatiana Nenova, Senior Economists WB and lead author of the report, said that if appropriately supported, SMEs have the potential to be the growth engine of economy due to their ability to create jobs, foster entrepreneurship and to provide depth to the industrial base.

The SMEs sector get a small share of credit despite having a greater role to play in the economic development.

‘SME lending accounts to only 16 per cent of the total lending volumes.’ Ms Nenova said adding that an aggressive promotion of an enabling environment leading to higher financing for the SME sector was needed to reverse this trend.

The World Bank Country Director Yusupha B Crookes was of the view that despite significant banking sector reforms and efforts to expand financial market coverage over the past few years, outreach has lagged behind the country’s growth and development needs.

He said that this report demonstrates that there is an enormous growth potential for financial services in Pakistan, especially in the rural areas.

According to the report Policy efforts to increase access to finance in Pakistan have taken time to bear fruits, but now access is indeed expanding quickly in certain financial sectors especially the microfinance remittances, but at a very low base.

The WB report also speaks about the rapid growth of Islamic banking in the country but said that it lacked liquidity management instruments.
  (note: and lack of interest payments forbidden by Islam).
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Satyagraha

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2009, 07:32:16 pm »
Industry suffers huge losses in production, exports
By Parvaiz Ishfaq Rana
Tuesday, 26 May, 2009 | 05:48 AM PST |

KARACHI: Industrial and business activities remained paralysed for the third consecutive day on Monday in Karachi owing to successive strikes called by different political parties and transporters organisations.

Earlier a similar strike on Saturday had partially crippled the industrial units of the city. Incidents of arson and torching of public and private vehicles set the stage for a more successful strike on Monday. The public transport, particularly goods carriers stayed off the road since early morning.

Consequently, workers attendance at industrial and business establishments remained poor resulting in production losses. According to sources in the industry hardly 25 to 30 per cent workers turned up at factories on Monday.

There was tension and fear prevailing since Sunday evening, which prompted the public transport to vanish from roads.

Zahid Hussain, chairman Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (Kati) told Dawn that industries in Korangi area suffered a loss to the tune of Rs3 billion in productions and in the absence of goods carriers no export shipments could be made.

He said that 4,500 industries located in Kati engaged around 0.5 to 0.6 million industrial workers in a single shift but on Monday most of them did not turn up because of non-availability of public transport.

Idrees Gigi, chairman F B Area Association of Trade and Industry said export orders had picked up for last two months but with fresh wave of strike calls and violence in the city buyers have begun to get nervous.

He said that foreign buyers in order to avoid warehousing cost sought timely delivery so that goods could directly go on sale. But whenever such uncertain situation develops foreign buyers fearing delay in shipments threaten to shift orders to other countries.

Pakistani manufacturers have made huge investment by installing word-class machinery imported from Europe but because of bad image of the country no major buyers have visited Pakistan for last 10 to 15 years.

‘The industry has been facing many issues, including prolonged load- shedding, water shortage and low gas pressure but somehow we managed to find alternate solutions by incurring extra cost, adding that to control law and order situation is beyond their capacity,’ Gigi said.

Mohammad Younus Khamisani, chairman North Karachi Association of Trade and Industry said that due to poor attendance the industrial production was badly affected creating fears amongst foreign buyers regarding timely delivery of goods.

Khamisani said there was 50 to 60 per cent attendance of industrial workers on Monday.

He said that a large number of owners of garment units have relocated their factories to Bangladesh and home textile is under the process of shifting, he added.

M A Jabbar, chairman Site Association of Industry said that the production of two shifts was lost owing to low attendance of industrial workers on Monday.

He said that Site is a major contributor to the economy but due to absence of goods carriers there was no inward and outward movement of raw material and finished goods from the industry.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/business/13+industry+suffers+huge+losses-za-13

Copyright © 2009 - Dawn Media Group
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Satyagraha

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2009, 05:49:41 am »
Gilani urges world to fulfil aid pledges to Pakistan By Ahmad Hassan
Friday, 29 May, 2009 | 03:25 AM PST
http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/11-pakistan-urges-world-to-fulfil-aid-pledges--il--10

ISLAMABAD: The government appealed to the international community on Thursday to provide more assistance for relief and rehabilitation of the internally displaced persons.

At a meeting held to review relief work for the IDPs, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani urged donor countries to fulfil pledges of assistance they had made for the affected people.

Representatives of the United States, Britain, EU and other countries promised at a conference last week to make fresh commitments after the United Nations launched a global appeal for $543.2 million.

The meeting discussed plans for return of the displaced people to their homes. It was informed that over 51,300 tents had been set up in different places in the NWFP and 30,583 tons of foodstuff distributed among the IDPs. Over 300 tons of food items have been sent to the people stranded in conflict zones.

The meeting was informed that Nadra had set up kiosks across the country for registration of the IDPs and the National Bank and other banks would open dedicated windows to give them debit cards.

The prime minister asked the Nadra authorities to complete the registration work soon so that the affected people could be provided with cash and other assistance.

The meeting was briefed on arrangements being made for providing electricity, drinking water, fans and other items of basic needs to the IDPs.

The prime minister asked the authorities concerned to ensure uninterrupted supply of basic necessities. He asked the provincial government and the Special Support Group to work for restoration of services in the affected areas and beef up security arrangements for the safe return of the IDPs.

Mr Gilani called for providing desert coolers and making arrangements for garbage removal and fumigation. He said the displaced people had sacrificed their present for the future of the nation.

He said the ongoing operation against militants and terrorists would continue till its logical conclusion, adding that the writ of the government would be restored at all costs.

The prime minister praised the humanitarian gesture of people hosting the IDPs and said the entire nation was united in determination to cope with the challenge.

The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Finance and Economic Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, Chairman of the Special Support Group for IDPs Lt-Gen Nadeem Ahmad, secretaries of cabinet, economic affairs division and health and the NWFP chief secretary.
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline bigron

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2009, 08:45:34 am »
Our New Super-Embassy in Pakistan is a Gross Example of How the U.S. Chooses Security Over Aid

The construction of mega-embassies syphons aid away from areas that could potentially help stabilize the Middle East.


By Allison Kilkenny, True/Slant
Posted on May 28, 2009, Printed on May 30, 2009
http://www.alternet.org/story/140313/

If this story sounds familiar, it’s because this has all happened before. Recently, Pakistanis learned that almost half of the $1.9 billion approved by the U.S. House of Representatives for aid will instead go toward "a new secure embassy and consulates" in their country. Of course, the United States has good reason to fear for their security in the region.

"Having a secure embassy and consulates is understandable considering that in 1979 the American embassy was burned down," says Ibrahim Warde, author of The Price of Fear. Thirty years ago, an angry mob burned down the embassy, killing a U.S. marine. According to the BBC, "the five-hour siege began as an organized student protest," but grew violent when protesters pulled down part of the embassy’s wall and stormed inside. The U.S. blamed the Iranian leader, the Ayatollah Khomeini, for inciting the violence, and in turn the Ayatollah cast blame upon the U.S. for occupying Islam’s holiest site, the Great Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

In 1979, the protesters burned down the embassy. Now, the United States intends to build another one, this time a super-embassy. McClatchy reports that the Obama administration is offering another sign of its intention to expand U.S. presence in the the region by embarking on a $1 billion “crash program,” which will include “a new U.S. embassy in Islamabad, along with permanent housing for U.S. government civilians and new office space in the Pakistani capital.”

The idea of building an even bigger embassy in Pakistan is unwise, says Warde. First, there is the small problem of using half of U.S.-approved Pakistani aid ($900 million) for the new secure embassy and consulates. Warde explains, “there is some symbolism in building what is perceived as a fortress, at the expense of…humanitarian aid.”

Pakistan badly needs that aid because poverty is one of the principle causes of destabilization and terrorism, according to many experts on the region. Author and historian, Tariq Ali, believes poverty is the biggest threat to peace in Pakistan. “The United Nations development figures for Pakistan show that over the last twelve years, 60% of the children born in Pakistan are born severely or moderately stunted because of malnutrition,” says Ali, adding that many poor Pakistanis send their children to be educated by the Taliban because they cannot afford to feed or educate them through any other means.

Second, when a region is viewed through what Warde calls the “security prism,” non-security funds are always considered a way of providing support to security goals. Basically, aid for food and education instead goes to giant embassies. The U.S. may also be reallocating funds because it views local Pakistani charities with a fair degree of suspicion, explains Warde. While he believes there is tremendous potential in the use of private aid, the U.S. de facto criminalization of Islamic charities makes it difficult for private aid to reach Pakistani communities.

Very few people in Washington understand that Zakat (almsgiving) is one of the five pillars of Islam: it is an obligation for every Muslim to donate part of their income to the poor and the needy. Money goes instead to the informal and underground sector, and may well end up in the hands of insurgents. Home-grown charities have a role to play. Yet if you look at much of what is said on the subject of charities, almost always by ideologically motivated so-called experts, Zakat is reduced to a tool to fund jihad, and the term Islamic charities has become a synonym for terrorists.

The U.S.’s solution to the deteriorating security situation in Pakistan is to build higher walls. If that sounds familiar, it’s because that was the U.S. plan in Iraq. In McClatchy, Khurshid Ahmad, a member of Pakistan’s upper house of parliament for Jamaat-e-Islami, one of the country’s two main religious political parties, calls the super-embassy plans a “replay of Baghdad.” Ahmad continues, “This (Islamabad embassy) is more (space) than they should need. It’s for the micro and macro management of Pakistan, and using Pakistan for pushing the American agenda in Central Asia.”

Students of history must realize that building mega-embassies syphons aid away from areas that could potentially help stabilize Islamabad and the Middle East. Ironically, by building embassies in foreign countries, the U.S. is actually making its soldiers there -- and civilians back home -- less safe by angering indigenous peoples and exposing America to the risk of blowback.



© 2009 True/Slant All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/140313/

Offline Satyagraha

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2009, 05:01:06 am »
Pak, France will ink civil nuclear deal in December: FO
http://www.geo.tv/6-4-2009/43480.htm

Pak, France will ink civil nuclear deal in December: FO
 Updated at: 1539 PST,  Thursday, June 04, 2009
 ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and France would sign civil nuclear deal in December.

In a weekly press briefing, foreign office spokesman said initial negotiations for nuclear deal will be completed in July and the deal would be signed in December.

He said Pakistan wants early resumption of talks with India but no conditions being attached for talks.

Replying to a question regarding Kashmir issue, spokesman said there is no confusion or compromise made on Kashmir issue. He termed the statement of Indian external minister’s statement about restoration of peace as positive and said Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir would meet Indian High Commissioner today in this connection. Pakistan is in touch with US for the resolution of Kashmir issue.

Foreign office spokesman said government is appealing against release of Hafiz Saeed and we will wait for verdict.
 
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Satyagraha

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2009, 05:03:27 am »
Telecom companies to jointly invest one billion dollars
http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/business/14-telecom-companies-to-jointly-invest-us-one-billion-zj-05

Business
IPDF handling projects worth Rs230bn ISLAMABAD: The Chief Executive officers of major telecom companies working in Pakistan have expressed their commitment to jointly invest at least US$ one billion in infrastructure, capital expenditure and technology in the next fiscal year to complement the enabling environment that the government is providing as a stimulus.

According to an official handout, the CEOs of all telecom companies in Pakistan including Mobilink, Warid, Ufone, Telenor and China Mobile called on Prime Minister, Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani at the PM’s House Wednesday afternoon and discussed with him matters relating to the cellular companies in perspective of the upcoming budget.

The Prime Minister appreciated the investment made by the mobile companies in the telecom sector of Pakistan, which has so far attracted foreign direct investment of US$ nine billion amounting to 46per cent of country’s total FDI in the last three years.

Ambassadors of China, Mr. Luo Zhaohui; Egypt, Mr. Megly Amer; Norway, Robert Kvite and UAE, Mr. Ali Saif Al-Awani were also present during the meeting.

The Prime Minister appreciated the investment made by the mobile companies in the telecom sector of Pakistan, which has so far attracted foreign direct investment of US$ nine billion amounting to 46per cent of country’s total FDI in the last three years.

The Prime Minister assured the meeting that the government would continue to provide incentives to the telecom industry so that the sector may continue to attract more investment and create more jobs.
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Satyagraha

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2009, 05:13:31 am »
Higher funds for uplift of Balochistan demanded
http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/provinces/13+higher+funds+for+uplift+of+balochistan+demanded-za-03

By Saleem Shahid
Thursday, 04 Jun, 2009 | 02:05 AM PST

QUETTA: Balochistan Economic Forum President Sardar Shaukat Popalzai urged the Federal government on Wednesday to give due attention to the underdeveloped economy of Balochistan in the forthcoming budget.

Talking to Dawn, he said different economic sectors be accommodated in the budget so that the province could shun its reliance on the federal divisible pool.

Many economic sectors, he said, were progressing slowly and were under severe pressure owing to lack of funding.

Due to slow growth of these sectors, investors were reluctant to come forward in supporting socio-economic development of the province, he said.

The federal government, he said, should encourage foreign direct investment in the province, and it should also be ensured that the message is reflected in bureaucratic policies and procedures.

He expressed the fears that the government may impose customs duty and sales tax on the ship-breaking industry in the new budget.

The present boom at the Gadani ship-breaking yard, he said, began early this year after customs duty and sales tax was waived in the previous budget which helped revive ship-breaking industry after a lull of over 10 years.

‘It generated economic activity in a big way and created employment opportunities from seashores of Balochistan to the North where most of the foundries and re-rolling mills are located, and it would be unfortunate if the federal government imposes customs duty and sales tax.’

He further mentioned that the fisheries sector was under continuous threat in the coastal area of Balochistan.

‘The main reason being the current ban on seafood export to Europe by the European Union for various technical reasons, which has badly affected the income generation of coastal population of the province,’ he said.

He further observed that mining and agriculture sectors, particularly fruit farming, have not been provided any special incentive, considering the fact that presently 67 per cent of Balochistan’s economy is dependent upon agriculture.

After the recent launch of operational activities at the Gwadar port, the forum expects that the government would announce without any further delay special incentives in declaring Gwadar a free zone.

The Balochistan Economic Forum also observed that the northern population of Balochistan was involved in large numbers in Afghan Transit Trade and also supporting the development of infra-structure in the province and Afghanistan.

The government should take notice of their migration of businesses from Balochistan area to the other region.

He demanded special incentives for the bordering cities of Balochistan, along with Afghanistan so that it could match the international incentives being offered for the Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZ) being developed by the US and also supported by Europe.
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Satyagraha

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2009, 05:16:38 am »
ADB report says Pakistan ‘living beyond its means’
By Amin Ahmed
Wednesday, 03 Jun, 2009 | 10:41 PM PST

RAWALPINDI: The country’s burgeoning current account deficit indicates Pakistan was ‘living beyond its means’ with excessive domestic demand boosting imports and fuelling the inflation which restrict exports, according to the Asian Development Bank in its latest report on the economic crisis of Pakistan.
 
This orthodox interpretation of the external financial situation of the country presumes the current account deficit must be ‘financed’ by flows of foreign reserves, which for the most part must be attracted by high returns and a stable political, economic and social environment, says the report titled: ‘A Reinterpretation of Pakistan’s Economic Crisis and Options for Policy Makers.’
 
The worsening trade account implies that local Pakistani consumption became dependent on the whims of foreign lenders. Further, given its large budget deficit, the government is said to be increasingly dependent on the foreign purchases of its debt to supplement domestic savers’ purchases of government debt.
 
The report warns if Pakistan cannot attract these needed reserves, it must slow its growth to reduce imports; lowering prices and wages could also encourage exports.

 

Thus, both monetary and fiscal policy ought to be tightened to encourage such capital flows even as this reduces the need for them, the report suggests.
 
Summing up how Pakistan’s new government doing in dealing with the current crisis, and setting the economy on a sustainable course, the report says the national government was trying to implement a series of measures to stabilize the economy and in this way set the basis for a successful recovery. At the same time it was trying to deal with the inflation problem.
 
The report recommended that tax and spending reform should be formulated to accomplish economic, social, and political objectives rather than to hit a deficit target. The government will find it very difficult to achieve its budget deficit target even if it were to cut spending on social services like education, health, etc. and development expenditures drastically.
 
This is because such draconian cuts would likely throw the economy into a deep recession that would reduce tax revenues. If this were done, it would have serious repercussions for the country’s political stability and for its future. A better strategy would be to negotiate with multilateral agencies a programme that would allow the country to service its external debt, and gradually reduce its trade deficit until it reaches a more manageable level. During this time, the structure of spending should be analyzed, and a realistic development program should be devised.
 
While referring to the recent agreement with IMF, the report opine that that there was still latitude within the constrained policy environment to pursue more sustainable outcomes than those established by the limited horizons set by the IMF agreement. Further, says the report, the IMF programme does not correctly portray the source of the inflation pressures, or the constraints on economic development.
 
It says Pakistan needs to foster conditions that will reduce its dependence on imports. The growth and development path chosen will make a difference to the country’s capacity to import. However, the orthodox solution to a current account deficit will actually make it more difficult for Pakistan to reduce dependence on imports.
 
Giving its assessment of the current situation in Pakistan, the report says growth by itself is not an adequate goal given the needs of the country. Policy must be designed to pursue the goal of full employment, price stability, and equity. While Pakistan’s latest growth experience during 2004–2007 initially led to high growth, it has now become clear that this growth model failed to address the main problems afflicting the Pakistani economy.
 
A crisis of confidence in the government prevails that was unable to undertake strong economic measures, such as creating jobs, solving the power and water shortages, and relieving poverty. There is also an inability to keep inflation in check, a neglect of some important components of the supply side of the economy, perceived inability to address the increasing fiscal and current account deficits that are believed in many quarters to be undesirable, and inadequate response to security threats.
 
The report recommends Pakistan must continue to seek international funds, while negotiating for minimal conditionalities. It is highly likely that the IMF will continue to provide loans as needed, but with conditions that include fiscal restraint.

Unfortunately, this is a risky time for budget cuts, which would entail both economic and political repercussions. Significant budget cuts can only be made in areas of military spending, food and fuel subsidies, pensions, or development. For obvious reasons, cuts in all of these areas would be problematic.
 
The alternative is to raise taxes – again a highly problematic policy for a nation whose growth was already slowing even before the global crisis generated recession throughout much of the world. The economic and political situation had not improved in the recent weeks and the government has requested further assistance from the international community.
 
The report points to a reduction domestic currency debt service or domestic debt relief. Debt service alone will likely absorb more than half of all government revenue. Cutting the SBP’s target interest rate would free more revenue than is likely to be obtained either by draconian cuts to other spending or by huge increases to tax rates.
 
In the context of the immediate urgency imposed by the foreign currency reserve crisis that most likely will last at least through 2009–2010, the ADB recognizes the reality that short-term policy options will be heavily conditioned by the IMF arrangement. However, the Bank believes that there could be some room to consider elements of a ‘debt relief’ strategy within the IMF arrangement, as well as pursuing a range of fruitful strategies even though the IMF agreement has been signed.
 
For the medium-term, the report suggests a package of policies that includes reorient emphasis towards employment-creating policies and away from growth for-its-own-sake policies; reformulate tax and transfer policy; address the external deficit and the fall in international reserves in a manner that does not lead to domestic stagnation, unemployment, and poverty.
 
The government should seek debt relief and especially gradual elimination of foreign-currency-denominated debt. The government should diversify the country’s export basket with a view to promoting those sectors that will lead to sustainable economic development in the long run.
 
A well-designed export-led growth strategy can play an important role in the country’s development. The aim of this development strategy is not to direct domestic resources toward production for external consumers instead of using them to produce for domestic consumption. The objective of this programme is to reduce import reliance and limit the external debt drains on foreign reserves, the report says.
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Satyagraha

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2009, 07:44:22 pm »
Indian stakes in Pakistan
By Ayesha Siddiqa
Friday, 05 Jun, 2009 | 01:32 AM PST

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/columnists/ayesha-siddiqa-indian-stakes-in-pakistan-569

ISLAMABAD’S idea to allow transit trade facilities to Afghanistan and India has caused the media to react strongly with many believing that this would prove inimical to Pakistan’s security interests and clear the way for undesirable characters to enter the country for the purpose of spreading violence.

Besides, there is apprehension that the terms of trade will not be to Pakistan’s advantage. Still others tie the trade issue — in the same way as the composite dialogue between India and Pakistan — to a solution of the Kashmir standoff.

Beginning with the tactical issue of concern for security, the reasoning in Islamabad is as valid and lame as it is in India. Surely, terrorism is one of the primary problems on both sides of the border which makes the concern valid. Security was one of the reasons why the Indian external affairs bureaucracy clamped down on issuing visas to Pakistanis arguing that greater traffic was breeding terrorism. However, restricting visas or trade is a bureaucratic measure that does not take into account the fact that greater legal interaction will develop greater understanding and, perhaps, sympathy for each other’s position.

In any case, the bulk of the terrorists don’t seek permission to enter. Also, terrorists do not necessarily have to accompany goods in transit between New Delhi and Kabul because there is already enough smuggling taking place between India and Pakistan for terrorists to make use of. Better monitoring could ensure that trade does not assist the terrorists.

As far as terms favourable to Pakistan are concerned, this is not really an issue of transit trade but about the capacity of the government to evaluate what’s good or bad for it. One really wonders what the issue is because technically speaking Islamabad has already made an offer of transit trade to India — the gas pipeline between Iran and India via Pakistan for which Islamabad hoped to receive attractive compensation. The trade between Afghanistan and India would mean compensation for Pakistan for allowing the use of its territory. Also, what is being discussed at the moment is transit facilities for Afghan goods.

But then what does one do about the Kashmir issue? More than 60 years of experience tell us that we were not able to solve it militarily and using the issue to withhold solutions for other matters is not likely to work either. At the moment, India has no stakes in solving the issue to Pakistan’s advantage especially when it is investing in its own political system to come up with a solution for the Indian state and the Kashmiri population. For instance, while some groups challenged the national elections and the turnout was low, there were others that did go and vote. The Indian state could always argue that there was a low turnout in other parts of the country as well. Eventually, participation in elections could lead to a dialogue between the centre and the territory under India’s control.

Part of the reason why India refuses to be sympathetic to Pakistan’s position is that it has no major stakes here. Transit trade and bilateral trade is one of the formulas for starting a more constructive relationship between the two countries. Allowing Indian investment to come into Pakistan for Pakistan’s benefit was reportedly recognised in a State Bank report which never saw the light of day. It was argued that opening up commercial links could help Pakistan capture some of the NRI

investment coming into India.

Trade and transit trade as part of larger economic relations is a major way to change attitudes and perspectives. This is not to suggest that economic relations would automatically translate into a solution for Kashmir and here we can take the example of the US and China, that despite having huge stakes in an economic relationship, continue to confront each other on the issue of Taiwan. But Beijing has not tried to use its current financial investment in the US to the latter’s disadvantage. At present, Washington’s huge deficit financing is funded by the Chinese. Any diversion of funds at this stage would further cripple the US economy which Beijing is not doing because it also has stakes in the American economy. The softening of political positions, of course, takes time.

Pakistan and India need to learn from this example. There are many who disagree on the basis that any economic link will be to India’s advantage and not to Pakistan’s. This perception is a fallacy but will continue to be held as long as Islamabad does not reflect on its own strengths. For instance, Pakistan’s agriculture sector is fairly competitive and has much to offer if we build on its advantages.

Unfortunately, there is greater worry in the policymaking circles regarding industry, especially the automobile industry currently being subsidised by the state. While it is one of the sectors that might get affected due to trade with India, we could think about building our industrial base through negotiating offsets with our neighbour. This is an industrial process that pertains to a systematic but real transfer of technology and not what we have been used to thus far. Using offsets to build our industrial base is something we must consider with other partners as well, particularly in the defence sector.

One of the other advantages of encouraging regional trade relations is that it will enhance Pakistan’s financial capacity and the overall productivity of the economy. The country badly needs to transform itself from an aid-dependent economy to a more productive and self-sustaining one. The reason that we fail to go beyond the $12bn mark in our foreign exchange reserves is due to the limited productive capacity of the economy.

Boosting trade and transit trade in the region will give Pakistan access to its own resources, which, in turn, will reduce its dependence on other states. Trade does build its own dependence but not at the cost of independent foreign policy and larger policymaking, a problem that occurs in an aid-based economy. Interdependency build through trade, on the other hand, could help bilaterally resolve contentious issues in the future.

The writer is an independent strategic and political analyst.
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2009, 09:29:36 pm »
KESC launches first phase of 180MW plant
By Shamim-ur-Rahman
Friday, 05 Jun, 2009 | 02:25 AM PST |

KARACHI: The Karachi Electric Supply Company on Thursday launched the first phase of its 180MW GE Jenbacher power plant by carrying out test operations of a 21MW gas station in SITE.

The first phase of 80MW at SITE will replace the existing 50MW plant there. The deal was signed by the private management at the KESC with an Austrian supplier in a ceremony in Dubai in late 2008.

‘The work on the four-phased $53 million project started on January 15 and will be completed by the middle of July this year, a project duration of just six months. In each phase, eight gas engines will be added,’ said Dale Sinkler, the KESC’s Chief Operating Officer (Generation and Transmission), at a news briefing on Thursday.

He said that the KESC’s ‘fast track’ total 180MW power project is under construction and commissioning at two sites, one in SITE and the other in the Korangi Industrial Area. Each site comprises 32 gas engines and has a 90MW capacity.

The first section out of four, which shall generate 21MW, is under commissioning at the SITE area project site. The complete section shall be fully commissioned early next week, providing 21MW to the grid. The complete 90MW shall be available by the middle of next month, KESC officials say.

Sinkler said the new project will replace the engines of the existing power plant, which have completed their planned life span and are working at a highly limited level of 19 per cent efficiency.

He said the new plant will work at up to 40 per cent efficiency, adding that ‘this project has been completed in record time to hit peak summer demand, as per our 100-day summer plan. This is the first milestone of that plan and part of a regeneration that you will see in this part of the business throughout 2009’.

He also announced the day’s statistics for power supply and demand in the city. According to him, a total of 2,238MW were being supplied by the KESC while the demand was 2,251MW. Thus, there was a shortfall of 13MW, mainly felt in the Gadap area.

‘Electricity theft is a social issue’

Syed Jan Abbas Zaidi, the KESC’s Chief Operating Officer (Distribution), disclosed that consumers owed a total of Rs36 billion on account of unpaid bills. In reply to a question, he said the non-paying consumers included ordinary citizens as well as some major commercial enterprises, industries and government organisations. He told a questioner that the highest overall percentage belonged to ordinary domestic consumers.

He claimed that on average, 650,000 to 700,000 consumers did not pay their bills on time.

Responding to questions about complaints of average and inflated billing, Mr Zaidi alleged that consumers had been involved in meter tampering and electricity theft.

Once an attempt was detected, the KESC sent an average bill to such consumers to allow time to ascertain whether such tampering has in fact occurred.

He did not agree with complaints of faulty meters.

In reply to a question, he repeated that the KESC stance was that around 30 per cent of the electricity supplied to the city is being lost in one way or the other. In its own report, however, the KESC had put the line losses at around 38 per cent. The KESC executive did not spell out what measures the utility has taken to plug the ‘leakages’ in the utility’s own system.

He said electricity theft represented not just a financial loss to the KESC, but also a moral and social issue.

He claimed that within a fortnight, a campaign will be launched to guide the KESC’s field staff in improving their customer care services.
 
Citizens appalled by likely tariff hike

Meanwhile, traders and domestic consumers were appalled by the possibility of a KESC tariff increase of more than Rs2.90 per unit, likely to be put in place if the federal government opts to withdraw a subsidy on electricity in the upcoming budget.

Jalil Tarin, Chief Financial Officer of the KESC, while responding to a question on electricity subsidies during a media briefing on Thursday, said that during the last year, the government had paid Rs18 billion to bring down the electricity tariff in Karachi alone.

Shaukat Tarin, the PM’s Financial Advisor, earlier said the government would be forced to withdraw the entire subsidy, apparently under pressure from foreign creditors.

And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2009, 09:45:25 pm »
Industries told to be environmentally friendly
By Mukhtar Alam
Thursday, 04 Jun, 2009 | 03:14 AM PST |

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/business/13+industries+told+to+adopt+environment-friendly+practices-za-06

KARACHI: Responding to the show-cause notices issued by the Sindh Environment Protection Agency (Sepa), a number of industrialists on Wednesday clarified their position with regard to their failure to meet the safe environmental standards, a source in the agency said.

According to the source, owners and executives holding responsible positions in these industries initially urged the authorities concerned to hear them as a group but later they agreed to plead their cases individually when they were informed about the legal requirements under the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act (Pepa), 1997.

Some of the industrialists expressed the view that since they were members of an association of industries, there was no need to discuss the issue of pollution or environmental degradation with them directly.

A majority of the industries represented before Sepa Director-General Shakeel A. Hashmi are located in the SITE area.

The industries identified for proceedings under the Act so far deal in textile, electrical and mechanical engineering, gas, food processing, spinning & weaving, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, beverages and oil.

The notices delivered to industrialists well in advance said that it had been observed that necessary arrangements in accordance with an environmental management system did not exist in the industrial units in question for treatment of industrial effluents and gaseous emissions, or for the prevention of release of particulate matter, as per the National Environmental Quality Standards notified under Pepa, 1997. 

As such, the industrial units were causing degradation of the environment and natural resources and spreading a disease, which was a punishable offense under Section-17 of the Act, the notices said.

A source said that many of the industries admitted having shown carelessness towards environmental and human safety issues but maintained that they alone could not be held responsible for the consequences, adding that the designated industrial areas where they had been operating did not have a system for solid or liquid waste management.

Not only the industrial estates but also the provincial and district governments should have taken the issue of environmental concerns and inadequacies of industries into consideration and ensured setting up of collective or common treatment plants, relevant waste management system, etc, the argued.

It is learnt that the industries were asked to come up with their industrial plans and explain the measures they had taken or intend to take to contain the pollution caused by their respective units.

‘This is not the job of an association (of industrialists) but every industrial unit to adopt environment-friendly practices,’ the industrialists were told.

Another source said that the authorities had also decided to collect samples of the liquid effluents and other material from the sites of certain industries for testing purposes.

A Sepa official said that the exercise undertaken by Sepa to curb pollution had proved effective as a number of industrialists responded to the initiative.

Another 30-40 industries functioning in the Korangi area are scheduled to appear before the director-general on June 6.

 
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2009, 06:21:47 am »
World Bank approves $900mn loan to Pakistan
Friday, 05 Jun, 2009 | 09:42 AM PST |
http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/business/07-world-bank-approves-900mn-loan+to-pakistan-ha-04

WASHINGTON: The World Bank on Thursday approved a $900-million-loan to improve education in Pakistan’s Punjab and Sindh provinces and support a poverty-fighting fund for local community groups, Reuters reports.

The World Bank money comes as Pakistan struggles with a balance of payments crisis and fighting in the northwest of the country that has left 2.5 million people homeless.

The World Bank said the $650 million in financing for the Punjab and Sindh education sector reform projects were aimed at encouraging more children to go to school and improve the quality of schooling.

Also, another $250 million for the Third Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, which the Bank has supported since 2000 and has reached more than 2 million people, will seek to support community groups with financing, micro-credit loans and skills training for the poor.
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Satyagraha

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2009, 07:12:10 pm »
Since this seems to be one of the major reasons for the US's desire to go to war in Pakistan, I was a little unsure whether to include this in 'infrastructure' or "US wants war in Pak." -- both threads would be appropriate I think.

Pak-Iran gas pipeline project formally signed
http://www.geo.tv/6-6-2009/43591.htm

Updated at: 0454 PST,  Saturday, June 06, 2009
ANKARA: The gas pipeline project between neighboring Pakistan and Iran has been formally signed here late on Friday, Geo news reported.

The agreement was signed between Iranian National Oil Company (INOC) and Pakistani Interstate Gas Company (PIGC).

The Managing Director (MD) of PIGC Hassan Nawab told Geo news the agreement is governed through third country law so it was bound to be signed in a third country and has been signed here in Turkey.

He said the work on the project has commenced from today (Friday) and will be completed by 2013 whereby Pakistan will receive 750 cubic million gas on daily basis which will be enough for generation of 4000 megawatt electricity.

“The gas pipeline will begin from Gawadar near Iranian border having 800 kilometer length”, he maintained adding, “The determination of gas price will be linked with contemporary oil prices at international market but will be less than 25 per cent as compared to crude oil prices”.

The estimated cost of the project will be US $1.2 billion, he added.
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Satyagraha

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #30 on: June 08, 2009, 05:53:54 am »
Chinese help for Pakistan railway worries India
Wednesday, 03 Jun, 2009 | 06:17 AM PST |

NEW DELHI: Indian officials are worried that China is involved in building what they say is an illegal railway station in the no-man’s land along the Munabao-Khokhrapar train link, a news report said on Tuesday.

A separate report said the Indian Air Force was planning to beef up its recently upgraded base near the China border with an additional squad of Russian-built Sukhoi warplanes.

‘In what could be a latest and one of the biggest threats to India, Pakistan has hired a Chinese company to build an illegal railway station on no-man’s land near the Indian border at Barmer,’ CNN-IBN news channel said.

It claimed that the station being built by a Chinese company formed one of the many moves by Beijing to unsettle New Delhi.

When the railway station was built in 2006 to coincide with the reopening of the Munabao-Khokhrapar line, it was against international laws, since it was built 150 metres inside the demarcated no-man’s land, the report claimed.

‘Now Pakistan is all set to make the structure permanent and in a double whammy for India, Islamabad has invited a Chinese company to construct the station and that too on the zero line,’ it said. ‘Two weeks ago engineers from the Chinese company carried out a survey of the area.’

India’s Border Security Force DIG in Barmer H.K. Gujjar indicated the move would be opposed. ‘We’ll first take up the matter in the flag meeting. If that doesn’t work then we’ll stop them, if need be there’ll be deployment and we’ll take up the matter in a higher level meeting.’

India’s junior defence minister M.M. Pallam Raju was quoted as saying that New Delhi was prepared to counter Chinese advances in the neighbouring countries. ‘There is no shortfall in preparedness from our side in this regard.

‘Chinese influence is not just in Pakistan, but they are trying to develop a port in Sri Lanka and in Myanmar as well. And we are well aware of all these developments.

‘And we are taking steps that this Chinese influence does not pose a threat to our nation,’ Mr Raju said.

Meanwhile, a separate report said that after stationing the Sukhoi Su-30MIK war jets in Tezpur in Assam, the Indian Air Force will post another squadron of its frontline jets at the Chabua air base under its military policy to boost security along the border with China in the northeast.

On June 15, four Su-30MKIs will land in Tezpur for a symbolic induction, making the airbase the third in the country to house the combat jets.

‘It will be a symbolic induction as of now. Currently it’s not clear which of the Sukhoi bases — Pune or Bareilly — the aircraft belong to,’ a senior IAF official was quoted as saying.

 
http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/world/13+chinese+help+for+pakistan+railway+worries+india-za-13 
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #31 on: June 08, 2009, 05:59:25 am »
IDB approves $137mln hydro unit for Pakistan
By Syed Rashid Husain
Saturday, 06 Jun, 2009 | 02:32 AM PST |

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia, Iran and Qatar have increased their capital shares in the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank, said an IDB announcement.

‘Other member countries are also welcome to increase their capital shares,’ the IDB President, Ahmed Mohammed Ali, said in the statement.

He, however, said the bank would set out a system to organise such increases by member states.

The bank’s board of directors in a meeting has also given approval to finance projects worth $575 million, including a $91 million dam in Iran and a $137 million hydroelectric station in Pakistan.

The bank has also agreed to finance a major railway project linking Turkmenistan, Iran and Kazakhstan.

Turkey would get $220 million to purchase electric locomotives, Turkmenistan $31 million to buy oil tankers, Lebanon $52.7 million to establish a water project and Suriname $5.5 million to modernise its sea port, an official statement said.

The IDB chief said the Islamic dinar, which the bank uses as a currency unit for its calculations, is equivalent to one US dollar. However, he said the currency is not used for bank’s lending operations.

Ali said the IDB would give priority to combating poverty.

‘The bank will set out a variety of programmes for this purpose,’ he added.

 http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/business/13+idb+approves+hydro+unit+for+pakistan-za-05
 
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #32 on: June 11, 2009, 05:54:53 am »
Qatar to invest $1b in Pakistan
 Updated at: 1336 PST,  Thursday, June 11, 2009

 ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Investment, Senator Waqar Ahmed Khan said the government provided the best opportunities for the investment in collaboration with the government and private sectors.

Talking to Sheikh Khalid Bin Thani Al Thani, a noted entrepreneur and member of the royal family of Qatar, the senator Waqar apprised him of the investment opportunities in oil and gas search, housing and agriculture sectors.Waqar said the government is providing the investors with the privileges, which Qatari investors should take benefit from by investing here.

The head of Qatari delegation said their country will invest one billion dollars in real estate sector and cement plant construction in Pakistan.

http://www.geo.tv/6-11-2009/43942.htm
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #33 on: June 11, 2009, 08:05:26 pm »
External debt liabilities cross $50 billion
By Nasir Iqbal
Thursday, 11 Jun, 2009 | 09:36 PM PST

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Survey for 2008-09 released here Thursday revealed that Pakistan’s total external debt increased to $50.1 billion by end-March 2009 compared to $46.3 billion end-June 2008, registering an increase of $3.8 billion or 8.2 per cent.

The survey issued by Advisor to the Prime Minister on Economic Affairs Shaukat Tarin said the global environment plagued by the economic slowdown hampered non-debt creating inflows like foreign direct investment (FDI) and constricted the availability of the non-debt creating inflows.

Therefore the government had to resort to multilateral and bilateral sources for its financing requirements, thus adding to the stock of outstanding external debt. In relative terms, external debt liability (EDL) as percentage of GDP increased from 28.1 per cent at end-June 2008 to 30.2 per cent by end-March 2009 — an increase of 2.1 per cent. This is the highest ever rise in a single year for almost one decade.

On debt servicing during 2008-09, the economic survey said the annual debt servicing payments made during the period 1999-2000 to 2003-04 on average hovered around $5 billion per annum. Owing largely to a combination of the re-profiling of Paris Club bilateral debt on a long term horizon, the substantial write-off of the US bilateral debt stock, the prepayment of expensive debt and the relative shift in contracting new loans on concessional terms, this amount was drastically reduced to around $3 billion by 2007-08.

Debt inflows, though useful in supporting the country’s balance of payments position and financing current account deficits, it says, also poses an obligation to make payments in the future, thus producing a strain on the economy.

As the debt burden of an economy rises, so do the obligations to make debt service payments. An amount of $3.65 billion has been paid during July- March 2008-09 which implies an increase of $650 million in one year.

Out of this amount, $2.83 billion was paid on account of repayment of principal amounts. A significant proportion of this increase is due to repayment of Eurobond amounting to $500 million made in February 2009 while $818 million were paid on account of interest payments. The amount rolled over increased from $1.2 billion in 2007-08 to $1.65 billion in July-March 2008-09.

The big chunk of Pakistan’s outstanding external debt is classified as public and publically guaranteed debt and accounts for 78.9 per cent of the total outstanding EDL stock.

Out of the remaining amount 8.4 per cent of the debt is owed to the IMF which is a leap forward from last year’s stake of 3.1 per cent of total EDL mainly due to disbursement of the first two trenches of the Stand By Arrangement (SBA). Private non-guaranteed debt contributes 6.6 per cent to the stock of EDL and another 4.3 per cent contribution came from foreign exchange liabilities.

The survey said the total outstanding public debt increased by Rs1.3 trillion in the first nine months of 2008-09 reaching a total outstanding amount of Rs7.2 trillion, an increase of 23.2 per cent in nominal terms. Total public debt has been growing at an average of 12 per cent per year since 1999-2000.

Similarly the total outstanding domestic debt is at Rs3.7 trillion, end March 2009 which implies net addition of Rs541.4 billion in the nine months of the current fiscal year. In relation to the GDP, the domestic debt stood at 28.7 per cent of GDP which is lower than end June 2008 level at 31.3 per cent.

The permanent debt stood at Rs660.4 billion at the end of March exhibiting an increase of Rs43.7 billion or 7.1 per cent up from the previous fiscal year. A large volume of the government’s permanent debt originates from PIBs (Pakistan Investment Bond). The outstanding stock of PIBs stood at Rs411.6 billion at the end June 2008 and increased slightly by Rs9.7 billion.

In November 2008, Pakistan entered into a 23-month stand-by loan agreement with the IMF to finance approximately $7.6 billion to support the stabilization programme of the government. It said the financing provided by the IMF was also the major reason behind the increase in the stock of outstanding EDL. Between June 2008 and March 2009, the outstanding IMF debt stock piled up from $1.34 billion to $4.19 billion. This implies a whopping net addition of $ 2.85 billion.

The composition of foreign economic assistance has considerably changed over the years from grants and grant-like assistance to hard-term loans.

The share of grants and grant-like foreign assistance in total commitments dropped from 80 per cent during the First Five Year Plan (1955-60) to nine per cent only during the year 2000-01. It, however, surged again to 20 per cent of total foreign aid contracted during 2001-02 but declined to 10.6 per cent in July-March 2008-09.
 

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/business/11-govt-misses-all-major-targets--economic-survey-2008-09--il--07
 
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #34 on: June 11, 2009, 08:07:57 pm »
Shocks batter economy, restrict growth to 2pc
By Mubarak Zeb Khan
Friday, 12 Jun, 2009 | 04:43 AM PST

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/business/09-shocks-batter-economy-restrict-growth-to-2pc--06

ISLAMABAD: The country’s economy, hit hard by the global recession as well as the domestic security crisis, showed an abysmal growth of two per cent during the financial year 2008-09 as against 4.1 per cent last year, missing most targets.

The agriculture sector, however, performed well, partly offsetting the damage, according to the Economic Survey.

Shaukat Tarin, adviser to the prime minister on finance, unveiled the document at a press conference here on Thursday. He said the GDP growth slumped from the targeted 4.5 per cent because of internal and external challenges.

‘Pakistan’s macroeconomic environment is affected by intensification of war on terror and deepening of the global financial crisis, which penetrated into domestic economy through the route of substantial decline in Pakistan’s exports and a visible slowdown in foreign direct inflows,’ the survey said.

This decline in growth was saved by an unexpected 4.7 per cent growth in the agriculture sector as against the target of 3.5 per cent, Mr Tarin added.

He said that 2008-09 was a year of economic consolidation. ‘The economic fundamentals would have gone out of control had the government not taken corrective measures.’

He said the coming budget would focus on poverty alleviation and economic growth. ‘We will dole out money for development sectors to create jobs and generate economic activities.’

He warned that the budget deficit might cross five per cent of GDP next year, from IMF’s projected target of 4.6 per cent mainly because of external flows. However, he said, the money would be used in productive sectors.

Mr Tarin said that a string of measures would be taken to revive the economy and reduce poverty, adding that the government would soon launch a survey to assess ‘real poverty.’

He said whatever the final poverty figures revealed, the reality was that people were committing suicide.

In reply to a question about tax on agriculture, the adviser said he did not want to be ‘martyred.’ ‘Why you want me to be killed by someone after imposing tax on agriculture.’

He admitted that agriculturists had a strong lobby in the government and would oppose tax ‘tooth and nail.’ Although agriculture recorded a 4.7pc growth, it did not contribute anything to the national coffer, the adviser added.

He said the government had decided to bring all those sectors into the tax net which were not contributing anything to the exchequer. ‘We are going to extend taxes to all areas,’ he said, adding that taxes on the stock market and real estate were being considered.

‘I am not going to tax those people who are already paying taxes.’

Mr Tarin said the manufacturing sector would be revamped to increase exports. He said the debt-to-GDP ratio would start declining from the next fiscal year.

The overall tax collection by the Federal Board of Revenue witnessed deceleration in real terms. The FBR’s tax collection-to-GDP ratio is likely to decline to nine per cent from the projected 10 per cent.

According to the survey, real GDP grew by two per cent in 2008-09 as against the target of 4.5pc. Agriculture grew by 4.7pc, whereas the target was 3.5pc. Its growth was 1.1pc last year. The good performance in agriculture sector was mainly on account of bumper wheat and cotton crops.

Output in the manufacturing sector saw a stellar growth of 3.3pc in FY09, compared to 4.8pc last year and the target of 6.1pc. The large-scale manufacturing sector declined to 7.7pc.

The massive contraction was because of energy outages, a weak security environment and political uncertainty in March this year at the height of the campaign for reinstatement of the chief justice. The service sector grew by 3.6pc as against the target 6.1pc and last year’s target of 6.6pc. Per capita real income increased by 2.5pc from 3.4pc last year. Per capita income in dollar terms rose to $1,046 from $1,042 last year, a marginal increase of 0.3pc.

Real private investment consumption rose by 5.2pc as against the negative growth of 1.3pc last year. The total investment declined from 22.5pc of GDP in 2006-07 to 19.7pc of GDP in 2008-09. Fixed investment declined by 18.1pc of GDP from 20.4pc last year. Private sector investment has been decelerating since 2004-05 and its ratio to GDP declined from 15.7pc in 2004-05 to 13.2pc in 2008-09.

The national savings rate declined to 14.4pc of GDP from 13.5pc last year.

And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #35 on: June 16, 2009, 01:27:09 pm »
OMCs continue to raise oil prices
By A Reporter
Monday, 15 Jun, 2009 | 08:47 PM PST |
http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/business/11-omcs-continue-to-raise-oil-prices--il--06

ISLAMABAD: Oil marketing companies have increased the rates of both kinds of furnace oils consumed in the country, by around Rs4,000 per tonne for the fortnight as international oil prices continue to move upwards.

Oil marketing companies have raised the price of High sulphur furnace oil by more than Rs4,000 for the fortnight June 15 to June 30, and as per the announcement made by Pakistan State Oil, the largest oil marketing company in the country, the new prices range between Rs39,667 and Rs43,935 per tonne.

The company is offering lowest rates for the import HSFO at Karachi port and the highest at Morgah depot, Rawalpindi.

Oil refineries said that the price of furnace oil has been increased due to an increase in crude oil prices at the international markets.

‘Average crude oil prices have gone up by around $15 per barrel to $73 per barrel in the gulf markets during fifteen days of June compared to the average crude oil prices in May,’ said a senior refinery official.

Similarly, the prices of Light Sulphur Furnace Oil (LSFO) also witnessed an increase and the latest LSFO prices announced by the PSO is Rs38,592 per tonne.

The LSFO was only produced only by the Attock oil refinery which produces around 40,000tonnes LSFO per month. However the remaining requirement of around 100,000 tonnes was being imported.

With the increase in the furnace oil prices the cost of power generation is also likely to rise, as the key consumer of furnace oil is the power sector, followed by heavy industries including the cement sector, while a considerable quantity is also consumed by the railways.

The HSFO was being consumed by WAPDA and HUBCO, the LSFO was mainly consumed by Kot Addu power Company.
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Satyagraha

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #36 on: June 17, 2009, 09:39:42 am »
80 per cent of Karachi without electricity: KESC DawnNews Report
Wednesday, 17 Jun, 2009 | 08:18 PM PST

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/metropolitan/11-80-per-cent-of-karachi-without-electricity--kesc--il--05

KARACHI: The city was plunged into darkness on Wednesday evening after a major 600MW disruption from Wapda cascaded through the system, leaving close to 80 per cent of the city without electricity, DawnNews quoted KESC officials as saying.

The lack of power is directly affecting the ability of emergency services to cope with Karachi’s stresses and strains, and experts are worried that those without extensive back-up generation capacities may soon become totally crippled.

KESC spokesmen told DawnNews that they were working hard to fix the problem, but did not give an estimate as to when the issue would be resolved.
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Satyagraha

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #37 on: June 17, 2009, 09:49:40 am »
Tarin vows to introduce agriculture tax soon
Wednesday, 17 Jun, 2009 | 02:00 PM PST
http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/business/04-tarin-vows-to-introduce-agriculture-tax-soon-qs-08

LAHORE: Speaking at a post-budget seminar in Lahore on Wednesday, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance, Shaukat Tarin said he will make sure agriculture is taxed soon or he will quit as advisor.

Tarin also promised an end to the power crisis by December 2009 and said a committee will be formed to review budget proposals for the industry.

He said the government will utilise all water resources for power generation so that dependence on oil can be curtailed.

Tarin said the current account deficit has been brought down from eight per cent in 2007-08 to 5.45 per cent in 2008-09.

He said 1.20 billion rupees were being lost to smuggling in Afghan Transit Trade.

The finance advisor said the government wants to bring about institutional changes to stabilise the exchange rate and the economy.
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Satyagraha

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #38 on: June 17, 2009, 10:03:30 am »

The vampires smell blood:

=================================

EU-Pakistan: changing ties
By Javier Solana
Wednesday, 17 Jun, 2009 | 09:19 AM PST |
http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/world/16-eu-pakistan-changing-ties-hs-06

Today, EU leaders are welcoming President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan to Brussels for the first-ever EU-Pakistan summit. 

This summit signals a step towards change in relations between the EU and Pakistan, moving from a relationship that has been mainly about trade to a strategically focused partnership embracing security, democratic governance, humanitarian and development assistance and regional and global issues. Together we will set an agenda for closer cooperation between the EU and Pakistan, a crucial player in Asia and a vital partner for Europe.

A secure and stable Pakistan, anchored in the international security environment, is essential for the people of both Pakistan and Europe. Our long-term, high-level political engagement will be focused on addressing the root causes of violent extremism and radicalisation and on combating the terrorism that has caused more suffering to the people of Pakistan than of any other country in recent years. 

The latest string of terrorist attacks in Peshawar, Lahore and Nowshera has taken a terrible toll of victims. The images we have seen from the Swat region of women being flogged, girls’ schools being burned down and terror being sown amongst the local population illustrate the scale of the challenge.

Europeans are also threatened, not least by radicals who train in the camps set up by extremist organisations on Pakistani soil with the intention of striking western targets. The EU cannot be a bystander in the face of such suffering and of such fundamental threats to the security and stability of Pakistan, the wider region and Europe.The security challenges are closely linked to the situation in Afghanistan, which shares a lengthy border with Pakistan. As long as Al Qaeda and Taliban extremists continue to operate on both sides of the border it will be very difficult to bring lasting stability to Afghanistan or to prevent the instability from spilling over into Pakistan. 

The recent military operations against militant extremists reflect Pakistan’s determination to fight terrorism on its own soil. We welcome this. The fight against terrorism and militant extremism is a joint endeavour and part of the newly enhanced relationship between the EU and Pakistan. We will be working together to help improve Pakistan’s counter-terrorism capacity in law-enforcement and criminal justice.

The European Union is acutely aware of the need to alleviate the suffering of the hundreds of thousands of civilians forced to flee the recent fighting in the north-western region of Pakistan after the Taliban terrorised the local population and openly challenged the authority of the Pakistani state. The survival of democracy in Pakistan, as well as Pakistan’s peaceful coexistence with India, are increasingly threatened by the militant extremists. Central Asia, Iran and India are also feeling the impact of the insurgency in Afghanistan on their own security with mounting concern. It is vital to promote stronger cooperation within the region and to turn borders that divide into lines that connect, for example to supply goods and energy. The European Union has extensive experience of promoting economic regional integration and it hopes to share some of this for the benefit of Pakistan and the wider region.

Bringing economic stability and development to Pakistan is vital in order to tackle the root causes of poverty and conflict. We know that a strong trading relationship is linked to economic prosperity and stability. The EU is already Pakistan’s top trading partner and we will help Pakistan pursue economic diversification and develop its capacity to trade more effectively, with a view to a possible free trade agreement in the future.

At the same time, the EU has pledged financial assistance to Pakistan of 485 million euros by 2013. This should create opportunities for the millions of young Pakistanis who seek to build their own future. Much focus will be placed on the education sector, the single-most important source of prosperity for future generations. The fundamental rights of women in Pakistani society will be targeted in European development programmes.

The EU’s engagement with Pakistan is long-term. This is in our mutual strategic interest. It is also part of the efforts of the wider international community that have been revitalised by President Obama and supported so eloquently in his address to the Muslim world in Cairo. 

The writer is EU high representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy.
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Satyagraha

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Re: Pakistan's Infrastructure : Multinational Destruction of Their State
« Reply #39 on: June 19, 2009, 10:57:39 pm »
Pakistan facing severe water shortages
UNDP By Our Staff Correspondent
Saturday, 20 Jun, 2009 | 03:43 AM PST |

http://www.dawnnews.net/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/13+pakistan+facing+severe+water+shortages-za-08

MULTAN: Pakistan is facing severe water shortage and is fast moving from being a water-stressed country to a water-scarce country mainly due to its high population growth, said United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Regional Project Director Shafqat Niaz Kang at a one-day training workshop of the local government staff here on Friday.

The workshop was organised by the UNDP, Pakistan Council of Research of Water Resources and Community Initiatives for Development and Environment (CIDE) to raise awareness about water scarcity and conservation practices among the public. The local government staff from Multan, Khanewal, Vehari, Muzaffargarh and Lodhran districts attended the workshop.

Mr Kang said the availability of water was being endangered by a rash of new threats, including climate change and increase in population. He said that per capita availability of water in Pakistan had gone down so sharply.

He said that in the agriculture sector water availability decreased by 29 per cent due to over irrigation, untimely irrigation and use of conventional technologies in the agriculture.

He said that in the industry sector, the use of uncontrolled water quantities in production activities, generation of excessive effluent in production process, toxic nature of effluent being generated by industries and untreated discharge of effluent to natural water bodies were major water related issues.

In the domestic sector, he said, water issues included the use of uncontrolled water quantities, generation of large quantities of sewage in domestic and commercial activities, water losses associated with water conveyance, storage and distribution besides the non-availability of sewage treatment facilities and lack of awareness and commitment for managing water crisis masses.

CIDE Assistant Executive Director Muhammad Shoaib said that in the domestic sector water issues could be solved by using of controlled water quantities in domestic activities, controlling generation of large quantities of effluent through reuse or recovery by the cities, controlling overflow of water storage reservoirs during their filling process, motivating municipal authorities for arranging treatment facilities for the sewage and raising awareness among the masses about conservation of water in domestic activities.

He said that in the agriculture sector, there was a need to introduce bed and furrow irrigation, pressurised irrigation, saline water irrigation, rain water harvesting, soil conservation and high efficiency techniques.
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40