Thursday, February 23, 2006

Economic Review of Sindh 2005

Economic Review of Sindh 2005


Written and compiled
By
Mushtaque Rajpar
Karachi, Sindh
Introduction

Sindh is economic hub of Pakistan, with country’s two sea ports, 3 Industrial estates, thus contributes one third of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country, its contribution to the agriculture income is about 25%; in large industry its contribution is 43%; its share in oil production is 62%; in gas it is 65%; in coal it is 31% and in generation of electricity it is 39%.

The economic development of Sindh largely depends on the progress and growth of Agriculture Sector. The province contributes 25% towards over all National Agriculture production, with 18% of the country’s land area and 24% population. This year, there is a market increase in all crop production except sugarcane. Sindh has produced 3 million bales of cotton exceeding target of 2.4 million bales by a margin of 25%. Production of rice is 1.5 million ton, against a target of 1.374 million ton, a 9% increase. Production of wheat is 2.232 million ton against last year’s production of 2.10 million ton.

Financial year of Sindh province begins from first July to 30 June. In the June 2005, the budget was announced by the finance minister. According to the ‘Budget Speech’ document issues by the Finance Department, Government of Sindh following budget was announced:

Budget for Financial Year 2005-06

Total Outlay Rs 143 billion
Revenue Receipts
Federal Divisible Pool Share Rs 52 Billion
Straight Transfers from Centre Rs 29.52 billion
Octroi, and Zila Tax grant Rs. 12.15 billion
Provincial Revenue Collection Rs. 19.28 billion

Major Expenditure
Sector Amount
General Administration Rs 19.80 Billion
Law and Order Rs 13.58 Billion
Debt Servicing Rs 11.96 Billion
Development outlay Rs 28.75 Billion


Deficit Rs. 8.99 billion

ADP Annual Development Programme
The Public Sector Development Program 2005-06 of Rs 24 billion is 33.6% more than outgoing year revised estimates of Rs 17.96 billion. Provincial Government will fund PSDP entirely from its own fund. The District Governments are provided Rs 6.79 billion for their Development Plan out off Rs 24 billion, leaving an amount of Rs 17.21 billion for Provincial Development portfolio, out of this an amount of Rs 8.51 or 49.5% is earmarked for 471 on-going schemes and an amount of Rs 8.70 billion or 51.5% has been allocated for the 426 new schemes.

According to the State Bank of Pakistan’s Annual Report (2004-05) the overall budgetary performance for the year showed an improvement, as revenue deficit decline by 58.4% reaching Rs 3.1 billion. Despite having a revenue deficit of Rs 3.1 billion, the provincial government increased the volume of developmental expenditure to Rs 29.8 billion with an annual increase of 86.4% leading to a financial gap of Rs 32.9 billion.

Sindh is faced with high indebtedness. The debt liability as on June 30, 2005 stood at Rs 110.3 billion, comprising of Rs 35.75 billion of CDL and Rs 74.51 billion in foreign loans. Cash development loans by the Federal government are the biggest problem for the province. So the government is focusing on premature debt retirement of expensive loans and replacing them with soft loans. It has already retired about Rs 6.2 billion in the last two years, saving an amount of Rs 1 billion. The financial position of Sindh is likely to remain poor if its revenue receipts do not exhibit substantial improvements.

Pakistan’s gross domestic product (GDP) was about $63.7 billion in financial year 2002; Sindh’s economy contributes 30% of the GDP compared to a population share of about 25%.
The Sindh’s budget includes 82% federal transfers (taxes and non-taxes transfers), 16% provincial revenue receipts, and 2% development grants.


Social Sector Development

Poverty in Sindh has increased from 27% in 1999 to 37% in 2001. About one third of the urban population and two thirds of the rural population live on less than about $1 a day. Drought is common in Sindh, and particularly affects the population dependent on non-irrigated lands. Only 17% f the land area has the sweet water. Rural poverty, unemployment, high fertility, and exploitation result in high rural-urban migration, with Karachi’s population growing at the rate of about 6% per year and a slum population of about 3 million.
Defining poverty as overall human deprivation, comprising limited opportunities, social exclusion, and vulnerability to exogenous shocks, an estimated 50% of the population lives below the poverty line. In addition to low income, poor households are characterized by low levels of education, lack of safe water and unmet needs for population welfare services.

Education: With a population of 35 million and for its imperative socio-economic growth, the province of Sindh faces the immense challenge of rampant illiteracy. Sindh’s literacy rate is 46%, the same as the nation’s. The rural literacy rate is much lower than the urban rate, and for females it is much lower than for males (40% versus 13% in rural areas, and 72% versus 52% in urban areas). Half of the school age children are not in school for reasons poverty and lack of proper schools and instructions. The situation in rural areas is worst; nearly 15,000 schools are shelterless, while 4,000 are closed due to non-availability of resources.

Health: Sindh’s important health indices are not good. Infant and child mortality rates per 1,000 live births are 85 and 103, respectively. About 40% of children under the age of 5 years are malnourished. One quarter of children are born with low birth weight. The number of maternal deaths has declined due to a reduction in fertility. The total fertility rate has dropped from around 6.3 to 4.7 in 15 years, due to the late marriages and modern family planning practiced by 27% of married couples.


According to State Bank of Pakistan’s Annual Report unemployment in Sindh has increased from 5.17 to 5.87 during FY 2002 to FY2004.

Economists are convinced that deterioration has set in the provincial economy including a process of de-industrialization. The fall in Sindh’s irrigation water share for the last four years has caused Rs 42 billion loss to its farm economy. This has caused adversely impacted the employment scene which has become more aggravated by unabated labour migration from Punjab and the NWFP.

The overall unemployment rate in the province has increased from 5.2 per cent in 01-02 to 5.97 per cent in 03-04

According the Budget speech document of Sindh Government for current fiscal year 2005-06 the Federal Government has agreed to enhance share of Sindh based schemes in federal PSDP 2005-06. In PSDP 2004-05 Rs 12 billion were earmarked for the schemes located in Sindh, for the year 2005-06 this allocation has, however, has been enhanced and kept at Rs 20.15 billion.

Resource Distribution: National Finance Commission (NFC) Award

The province has great hopes that the 6th NFC constituted in the year 2000 and reconstituted in 2003 would provide the needed resources. Unfortunately diversity of views on the distribution criteria proved a stumbling block in arriving at a decision. The last National Finance Commission (NFC) was given in 1997 by a caretaker government, continues to govern the present ad-hoc arrangement of sharing taxes and duties between the federation and the provinces.
The award drastically changed the sharing ratios in favour of the federation and against the provinces from 20:80 to 37.5:62.5. This award was based on 1981 population rather than 1998 population, Sindh’s population having increased from 23 to 25 per cent.
Sindh did not agree on any of the above. Sindh supported any of the multiple indicators formula given above because it contributed more to the divisible pool.
For example the figures are given below for one year

Year 1997-98
Taxes Sindh’s contribution Punjab’s contribution

Income tax 58.2% 17%
Sales tax 29.6% 10.9%
Federal excise duty 18% 18%
Customs 64% 10.8%

The experts believe that Sindh has got a raw deal on NFC, its legitimate share in the divisible pool has been denied to it whether the government is military or civilian. Out of Rs 189 billion it contributed in 1999-2000 it received only Rs 30 billion. It is being subjected to substantial resource transfer to other provinces and the federation.
Sindh has been denied its historical share in Octroi collection as well as in current GST collection. The Octroi and zila tax, which sustained the local governments, was suddenly taken over by the last elected federal government. This act virtually crippled the local governments. One would have hoped that the present government would have restored the taxes to the devolved local governments. But that was not to be. Based on the calculation of audited figures and applying the average growth, actual collection during three years, (1999-2002) would have been Rs 26 billion against which Sindh was paid a sum of Rs 15 billion.

The relative backwardness of Sindh has increased over time and no allowance is made in share of federal taxes. Sindh has certain peculiar features like high level urbanization, heavy influx of population from other provinces, high poverty, low service provisions, a vast arid zone (48% of the total area) and huge expenditure on law and order. Per capita expenditure on law and order in Sindh is the highest at Rs 221 compared to Rs 157 for other provinces.

Development Projects in Karachi
And City District Government Karachi (CDGK)

The City District Government of Karachi (CDGK) approved its annual budget of Rs 43.8 billion on 28 June 2005 for the year 2005-06, showing a surplus of Rs 15.79 million.

Total outlay Rs 43.8 billion

Major sectoral expenditure

Establishment Rs 3.3 billion
Contingent Rs 1.2 billion
Development Rs 12.8 billion
Tameer-e-Karachi Programme Rs 600 million
Annual Development Plan Rs 1.3 billion
Towns and Union Councils share Rs 2.5 billion
Development of Water and Sanitation Dept Rs 3.7 billion
Current Expenditure Rs 3.5 billion
Health Rs 2.5 billion

Some major sources of financial resources

Grants and releases from Government Rs 9.8 billion
Malir Development Project income Rs 5.4 billion
Revenue Rs 4.7 billion
Octri dues from KESC Rs 2 billion
Liyari Development Project income Rs 1.3 billion
Salaries from Sindh Government Rs 8.8 billion
Water and Sanitary Account Rs 7.3 billon

Tameer-i-Karachi Development Project
Two mega projects are under construction in Karachi. One is the Lyari Expressway and the other is the Northern Bypass.
In addition to these two mega projects, the Rs 29 billion Tameer-i-Karachi Programme is also being implemented. This programme seeks to improve the existing Karachi infrastructure and surprisingly considers roads, bridges and flyovers, sewage, water and solid waste management. Consequently it has already identified 256 schemes in different sectors without a master plan in place.

Tameer-i-Karachi Programme (TKP) of Rs 29 billion was initiated with the cooperation of different stakeholders of the city which include Pakistan Steel, KPT, PIA.

K-III project
Karachi’s City Nazim Mustafa Kamal has said that greater Karachi Waterly Supply Scheme K-III project will be inaugurated by President Musharraf on March 31 2006 as this project will be completed three months earlier than its stipulated time. Under this project Karachi will receive 100 MGD (Million gallons per day) extra water after the completion and it will increase the water supply to the city up to 640 MGD.

In June 2005, the then City Nazim Naimatullah Khan had said that Rs 5 billion development plans have already been initiated by the City Government under the TKP.
City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal told to media men (27 November 2005) Karachi Package announced by President General Pervez Musharraf has been reduced from Rs 29 billion to Rs 22 billion as 8 major stakeholders refused to pay in this regard.

President General Pervez Musharraf announced an industrial infrastructure development package (July 12, 2005) for Karachi, which includes two new industrial estates and an industrial park. According to the details the new industrial estate would be developed in Landhi over an area of 250 acres of land for SMEs (Small and medium enterprise). The other industrial estate would be created over an area of 1,500 acres belonging to Pakistan Steel.

Stock Exchange During 2005
The Karachi Stock Exchange 100 Shares Index (KSE-100 index) ended the fiscal year 2005 with a gain of 41.1 percent, which translates into 2,171 points at the index level of 7,450. The index closed at its all time high level of 10,303 on 15 March 2005. The market capitalization of Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) surged up to Rs. 2,068 billion, depicting an increase of 45.53 percent over the last year; in terms of US Dollars, market capitalization of KSE was approximately US$ 35.65 billion at the close of the year. The Karachi stock market continued to be one of the best five performing markets around the world, during the period under review.
The stock market witnessed extreme bullish and bearish sentiments during the period January-March 2005. The bull run in the stock market was triggered during January and it lasted for two and half months. However, a sharp decline commenced on 16 March 2005 resulting in the KSE-100 index declining by 25 percent to as low as 7,708 as on 28 March 2005. This was the fourth set back for the market over the past five years; previous setbacks were in May 2000, September 2001 and May 2002.
While a crisis was avoided, the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan constituted a Task Force to conduct an independent and impartial inquiry into the root cause of the situation. After over three months of deliberation, the Task Force submitted its report to the Commission. Taking stock of the observations made in the report, the Commission immediately commenced the implementation of operational and policy recommendations of the report.
The recommendations of the Task Force included the elimination of Carry-over Transactions (COT), which was already being pursued by the Commission. During the year under review, the Commission, after extensive consultation with stock exchanges, finalized a comprehensive time-bound action plan to ensure the smooth phase out of COT/badla. In accordance with the action plan, the phasing out of COT/badla commenced from 8 October 2004; however, after extensive consultations, the deadlines were relaxed to facilitate the market. Despite various obstacles faced during the process, COT was completely eliminated subsequent to the close of the year and a continuous financing system (CFS) has been introduced as an interim measure to replace COT/badla financing in order to enhance the level of liquidity in the market while alternative modes of leverage financing are being developed which include margin financing and futures market. In this regard, the Commission has ensured that the necessary measures for the minimization of market abuse and the mitigation of risk have been incorporated into the CFS Regulations in order to ensure the preservation of market integrity, investor protection and the restoration of investor confidence. Accordingly, the CFS Regulations provide several crucial risk mitigating measures.



















Economic Activities as reported by Newspapers
Sindh 2005

January, 2005

Sindh to generate 13,000MW of power from coal-fired plants
The Sindh government has embarked upon a plan to generate 13,000 MWs of electricity from coal-fired power plants with a view to providing people cheap electricity.
(The News January 6)

Chinese premier to open Thar Coal power project
Sindh Minister for Mines and Mineral Development Irfanulllah Marwat has said that the Chinese prime Minister will perform the groundbreaking ceremony of the Thar coal power project by the end of the Feb 2005.
(Dawn January 11)

Sindh given Rs 88 billion less than its due share in NFC Award
The opposition PPP has said that Sindh received RS 88 billion less than its due share from the NFC due to the 1997 Award and warned that the province would suffer further if the unfair Award was allowed to continue and a fresh award was not announced.
(The News January 18)

February 2005

Sindh receives Rs 2.2 billion for new jobs
Sindh Zakat and Ushr Minister Sardar Manzoor Ali Panhwar has said the federal government has provided a special grant of 2.2 billion to the province from the Zakat fund to provide jobs to unemployed people.
(Dawn February 17)

Utilization of fund in Sindh slow
The Sindh government has shown an extremely low utilization of the development funds during the first half of the current fiscal year that is being attributed to painfully slow release of money by the provincial finance department.
(Dawn January 17)

Sea intrusion claims 2.2 million acres of land, says expert
A team of politicians, water experts and journalists, after a three day study tour of deltaic region in the district Thatta has confirmed wide spread destruction of called for rehabilitation measures and payment of compensation to the affected people. The non-release of water down stream Kotri, some 2.2 million acres of fertile land.
(Dawn February 22)

March 2005

Stocks plunge by 403 points
The KSE-100 index share on Tuesday plunged by another 403 points or 4.4 per cent as investors continued to take profits at the inflated levels but late short-covering in some of pivotals raised hopes that the correction may now be overdone. It has shed 1,600 points during the last four sessions.
(Dawn 23 March)

Stocks shed another 380.10 points on panic selling
The KSE 100-share index on Thursday shed another 380 points or 4.38% at 8,314.10 as panic selling was intensified on all the counters under the lead of leading blue chips in the energy sector. During the last five sessions, it has lost 1,900 points or 18% from the all time peak level of 10,355 points at 8,314.10 points.
(Dawn 25 March)

KSE index free fall continues unabated
For the seventh day on Friday, the shares at the Karachi Stock Exchange continued their fall. Shedding 349 points on Friday, the aggregate slump in index totaled a mammoth 2549 points.
(Dawn March 26)

33% of poor live in Sindh, Punjab: ADB
Over 33% of Pakistan’s poor population live in agro-climatic zones of Sindh and southern Punjab where skewed distribution of land is hindering poverty alleviation measures, reveals Asian Development Bank report.
(Dawn March 29



April 2005
Chinese firm rejects revised tariff: Coal-fired power projects in doldrums
Two fired power projects of 300 MW each planned by China in Thar (Sindh) are in doldrums because the Shenhua Group of China refused to accept the revised tariff offered by Pakistan.
(Business Recorder April 8)

MoU signed to set up coal-based power plant
A tripartite memorandum of understanding has been signed between a Ukrainian firm and Hyderabad based Fatah group and the Sindh Coal and Development Authority to develop Lakhra coalmine field, explore mining at Sonda-Jherruck and set up a coal based electric power generation station of 300 MW at Dadu, Sindh/
(Dawn April 21)

May 2005

Independent NFC sought by Sindh
Sindh has demanded an independent National Finance Commission to give a just a fair award on the distribution of federal proceeds and has refused to give up its demand or reduce its share in the gas development surcharge.
(Dawn May 13)
Sindh share in PSDP comes to Rs 20.14 billion
Sindh’s share in the federal government’s Rs 272 billion public sector development outlay, being proposed for the next fiscal year, has been worked out at Rs 20.14 billion or 10.2% which is far below the population ratio of about 24% on the basis of which federal tax pool resources are distributed..
(Dawn May 27)

June 2005

Rs 147.6 billion budget presented in Sindh PA amid protest
Sindh finance Minister Syed Sardar Ahmad presented before the provincial Assembly Rs 147.68 billion provincial budget for 2005-06 amid protests from opposition on law and order situation.
(Business Recorder June 11)

Rs 28.75 billion allocated for ADP
Sindh Government has allocated Rs 28.75 billion for Annual Development Plan for the fiscal year 2005-06 registering an increase of 38.15% over current year Rs 20.81 billion.
(Business Recorder June 11)

31 education schemes planned
The Sindh government has allocated RS 340.86 million for 31 new educational schemes under Public Sector Development Programme 2005-06.
(Dawn page 17)

Sindh facing problems in Rs 37 billion loan payment
Sindh Finance Minister has said that Sindh has loan liabilities of Rs 37 billion, finding it difficult to repay it owing to higher rate of interest which ranges between 14 and 16%.
(Business Recorder June 12)

Rs 24 billion uplift plan unfunded segment in Sindh budget
Sindh Finance Minister Syed Sardar Ahmad has contended that after the suspension of cash development loans facility from the federal government, the development loans facility from the federal government, the development program in the Sindh budget had become an unfunded segment.
(Dawn June 12)

July 2005

Gas tariff goes up by 5.8 to 12.5%
The government on Thursday increased the natural gas prices throughout the country by 5.81 to 12.5% except domestic consumers using up to 100 units, with effect from July 1, 2005, said a notification.
(Dawn page July 1)

1.5 million People with out jobs in rural Sindh
A recent survey has found unemployment ratio in Karachi men aged between 15 and 24 years at 33% and it is 26% in rest of Sindh. Total unemployment ratio of men and women of the same age group has been calculated at 32% in Karachi and 26% in rest of Sindh.
(Dawn July 5)

Over 100 villages flooded in Sindh
A medium flood of 500,000 cusecs was passing through the Guddu Barrage on Saturday, inundating 80% of the Kutcha area between Guddu and Pano Aqil, including over 100 villages and farmland.
(Dawn July 11)

Increase in Sindh health sector funds put at 32%
Development funds for the health sector in Sindh has been increased by 32% in the year 2005 raising the year’s allocation from Rs 600 million to Rs 795 million for provincial schemes alone.
(Dawn July 15)

August 2005

WB Survey on Sindh: Water scarcity division threat to development
The World Bank considers water scarcity and regional divide in Sindh a threat to development in the province.
(Dawn page 9)

Ecnec approves Rs 183.6bn projects
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council on Wednesday approved 29 development projects with an estimated cost of Rs 183.6 billion.
(Dawn page 1)

September 2005

ADB concerned over poverty in Pakistan
Poverty reduction and lack of implementation capacity remain major challenges to Pakistan and require a lot of effort and strategies in the right direction according to President Asian Development Bank.
(Dawn page 1)

World Bank proposals to make land deals fair
The World Bank wants the Sindh Excise and Taxation department be given the responsibility of handling the land titles as a ‘single integrated department for administering urban land.
(Dawn page 9)

Australia to set up petroleum plant
Fire power Group has proposed to establish a petroleum conditioners manufacturing and blending plant in Karachi to serve Pakistan and the regional markets.
(Dawn page 9)

Pakistan ranks 135th in human development
Among the 177 countries covered by the annual UN Human Development Report, Pakistan ranks at 135 while India ranks 127th and Bangladesh 139th.
(Dawn page 16)

WB launches Development Marketplace to reduce poverty
The World Bank on Wednesday launched Development Marketplace, a competition of innovative proposals to reduce poverty.
(Business Recorder page 2)

Sindh contests federal debt liabilities
The Sindh government is now formally demanding the refund of the entire amount that was paid to service those federal loans which were, infact, never borrowed and the liabilities are being attributed to bad accounting practices and non-reconciliation of accounts.
(Dawn page 9)

50% of Karachi population living below poverty line
The poverty in Karachi especially Katchi Abadis is a multi-dimensional phenomenon and overall 50% of total population of Karachi is living below the poverty line.
(Business Recorder page 8)

October 2005

ECC under study: Sindh Land Ord. impediment to investment
Since the existing Sindh Urban Land Disposal Ordinance 2000 is being considered a big impediment to the implementation of investment proposals from foreign and local groups.
(Dawn page 9)

Industrial output hit by workers’ departure
A number of labour force and workers employed in city’s mega industrial estates have left for their homeland to either mourn the death of their family members or mange food and shelter for the loved ones who have survived in earth quake.
(Dawn page 9)

First quarter: 2 Karachi regions collected more revenue
The Corporate and Southern regions of Karachi recorded handsome growth of 16 and 14% in revenue collection during the first quarter.
(Dawn page 9)

Asian Bank lists factors hindering SMEs
The Asian Development Bank resident mission in Pakistan has said that lack of access to credit, threshold burden of compliance and corruption costs associated with the fiscal and regulatory framework hinder not only the growth potential of Small and Medium Enterprises but also their risk-taking.
(Business Recorder page 1)

Provinces asked to improve revenue mobilization
While pointing out the constitutional authority of the provinces in respect of agricultural income tax and the sales on services that constitute 75% of the GDP, the State Bank of Pakistan wants the provincial and local governments, particularly the relatively well off provinces of Sindh and Punjab to step up their revenue mobilization efforts.
(Dawn page 1)

Industrial growth declines in 2004-05: SBP Report
Industrial growth in Pakistan has gone down from 12.0% to 10.2% in the current fiscal year.
(Business Recorder page 24)

November 2005

Poultry, potato, sugar, tomato cost more
Potato, chicken, egg, sugar and tomato have become costlier, while prices of pulses and some vegetables have declined in the last one month.
(Dawn page 9)

Sindh Govt promulgates colonization of lands Ordinance
The Sindh government on Tuesday promulgated the Colonization of Government Lands (Sindh amendment) Ordinance 2005, with a obvious objective to counter the clout of real estate speculators in the business and give impetus to construction activities.
(Dawn page 9)

Industrial area uplift: Rs 1 billion special programme for Korangi announced
City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal has announced Rs 1 billion special development programme for improvement of water and sewerage system in the Korangi Industrial area, and said that its implementation will start in a week.
(Dawn page 19)

Panel puts Kotri water flow requirement at 8.6 MAF
A three member panel of international experts has concluded that a flow of 8.6 million acre feet (MAF) of water per annum downstream Kotri was required to contain sea intrusion, environmental degradation and related irrigation losses.
(Dawn page 1)

Karachi port lacks facilities: 70% ATT diverted to Bandhar Abbas
About 70% of the Afghan Transit Trade has been diverted to Iranian port of Bandar Abbas due to unavailability of adequate transportation facility at both the ports in Karachi.
(Business Recorder page 1)

China Chemical approached for Thar project execution
Pakistan has approached China Chemical Engineering Group Corporation for execution of 600MW Thar coal power project in case Shenua Group backs out from the project.
(Business Recorder page 1)

Rs 7bn reduction in Karachi package: Kamal, Niamat hold each other responsible
City Nazim Mustafa Kamal and former city nazim Karachi held each other responsible for reduction in funds for Tameer-i-Karachi Programme from Rs 29 billion to Rs 22 billion.
(Dawn page 13)

Consortium takes over control of KESC
The Government on Tuesday handed over the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation to a consortium after receiving Rs 15.9 billion of the Rs 20.24 billion highest match bid.
(Dawn page 1)

Rs 4bn coastal development projects in Sindh planned
The Asian Development Bank and the World Bank will fund various projects worth US63.5 million that would be initiated through the ‘integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan’ in 2006 in the coastal areas of Sindh.
(Dawn page 19)

December 2005

K-111 project to be ready in March
Nazim Karachi Syed Mustafa Kamal has said that 100 MGD K-III project will be completed in March 2006-three months ahead of its scheduled date of completion.
(Dawn page 17)

Ecnec approves Rs 4.686 billion for Lyari Expressway Resettlement Project
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council on Wednesday approved 29 development projects with an estimated cost of Rs 183.6 billion. Of them, Rs 4.686 billion was approved for Lyari Expressway Resettlement Project, Rs 8.561 for Karachi Water Supply K-III, Rs 1.22 billion for housing construction facilities for Rangers in Sindh.
(Dawn page 1)

Project to cost Rs 784m: Sindh plans agency for disaster management
A Sindh disaster management agency is being set up for putting in place in the next five year’s comprehensive disaster management plant at a total cost of over Rs 784 million which more than 50% will go to staff salaries.
(Dawn page 9)

Thar Coal project: Chinese firm, Wapda yet to settle tariffs, says Arbab
Sindh Chief Minister Dr. Arbab Ghulam Rahim has said that the Sindh government was committed to bring the less developed areas of the province at par with the developed urban areas.
(Dawn page 15)

Sindh sugar mills closed against cane price raise
Shortfall in sugar production is inevitable following the closure of all sugarcane –crushing units in the province as protest against the increase in sugarcane minimum support from Rs 48 per 40 kg to Rs 60 per 40 kg..
(Business Recorder page 1)

Domestic gas tariff raised by 15.87%
The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority has determined an average increase of about 15.27% in domestic gas price and 13.06 per cent for the remaining categories of consumers.
(Dawn page 1`)

Gas tariffs to hit Sindh industry
The export-oriented and value-added textile industry in the province of Sindh in general and Karachi city in particular are bound to face great hardships due to 17% hike in gas.
(Dawn page 9)

Thar coalfield: Chinese experts to develop two additional blocks
Sindh government has made agreements with North East Coal Geological Survey Bureau of China for the development of two additional blocks at Thar coalfield and discover additional coal fields at North Lakhra.
(Business Recorder page 20)

CNG price raised by Rs 1.25 per kg
CNG vehicles owners will have to pay Rs 1.25 per kg more from January 1, 2006 after CNG dealers and station owners have unanimously increased its price. The CNG now will cost Rs 30.25 as compared to Rs 29 per kg in the Sindh and Balochistan region.
(Dawn page 9)

WB proposes equitable land distribution
World Bank in ‘Development Report 2006) has said Equitable distribution of land through reforms could play a pivotal role in reducing poverty and politically empowering the poor, especially the farmers whose subsistence is directly linked with agriculture.
(Business Recorder page 1)


Mushtaque Rajpar
Cell No.92-0300-2040883
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.

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