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Excavating optimism Exploitation of gas hydrates in sea to be expedited
Exploitation of tidal energy potential and sea based minerals and gas hydrates will be expedited, as Marine Scientific Research in the Arabian sea has found evidence of the presence of large quantity of gas hydrates in the offshores of Makran Coast. According to National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (ST & I) 2012,target oriented exploration activities are required to be conducted to quantify and map the expected potential of this huge source of natural methane gas as well as oil and gas resources in maritime areas. The policy focuses that the exploration and exploitation of maritime areas has to be pursued more vigorously to meet the future challenges of energy demand. Chairperson Pakistan Council for Science and Technology (PCST) Dr. Mudasar Asrar talking to APP said it is essential to map the available resources of sea through oceanographic, bathymetric seafloor classification and high resolution seismic surveys. For this purpose, two oceanographic research vessels, one for working in coastal areas and the other for surveys in deep waters, are required. She said pakistan also needs to develop capacity in the areas of mining of the seabed, for utilizing the minerals.
Let’s mull collectively… g
ECC body includes consumers, owners in consultation on CNG pricing ISLAMABAD
hE maiden meeting of the sub-committee of the cabinet’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Monday decided to include representatives of the consumers and owners in the policy formulation for setting of the CNG price. The committee met with Law Minister Farooq h Naek in chair and was attended by Secretary Cabinet Nargis Sethi, Chairman OGRA Saeed Ahmed Khan, Chairman Supreme Council of All Pakistan CNG Association Ghiyas Paracha and Chairman CNG Dealers Association Abdul Sami Khan. however, Advisor to Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim hussain and Secretary Petroleum could not attend the meeting and DG Gas represented the ministry. Talking to the newsmen after the meeting, Farooq h Naek said the committee has been mandated to formulate guidelines to be followed by the OGRA to set the CNG price as under law, the Authority is bound to fix price on the basis of policy guidelines provided by the federal government. he said the committee is supposed to formulate guidelines after consultation with all stakeholders and viewed that the committee lacked representation of owners and the consumers that should be ensured. “As the consumers and the owners are also the stakeholders, we have decided to summon them in the next meeting scheduled on Wednesday,” Naek told reporters. he said after evolving consensus, the guidelines would be forwarded to the ECC and later Cabinet that would direct OGRA to fix CNG price. he said after fixing the price, OGRA would apprise the Supreme Court that had directed it to fix the price being the competent authority.
To a question, the law minister said the committee would finalize the guidelines within days as all the stakeholders have been asked to come up with a working paper to avoid any controversies in the future. The law minister observed that the issue was complicated; however, the committee meetings have been started to resolve it consensually. he told the reporters that the commit-
tee would also consider the proposal of the petroleum ministry of restricting the filling of CNG in up to 1000cc vehicles however the foremost agenda was setting of the price. Sami Khan expressed satisfaction over the conduct of the committee head as well as the secretary cabinet and hoped that the issue would resolve soon. however, he expressed concern over absence of both the petroleum advisor and
the secretary petroleum despite being the main stakeholder. Ghiyas Paracha said the committee has agreed to the proposal that any price to be fixed by OGRA should be backed by a certain law to avoid any blackmailing and loss to any stakeholder. he said the CNG price can be reduced remarkably if the ministry reduces taxes on the product as around 90 percent of the price falls under purview of the ministry.
President inaugurates first wind power project in Thatta THATTA ONLINE
President Asif Ali Zardari inaugurated the first ever wind power project in the country at Jhampir‚ Thatta on Monday.
Speaking on the occasion‚ the president termed the windmill project a first baby step and said our industrialists and investors could do more by establishing such industries. The president said that with the commencement of the first wind power project, Pakistan has entered into a new era. he termed the commencement as the first concrete step towards tapping country’s vast Renewable Energy resources. The President, on behalf of the people of Pakistan and on his behalf, congratulated the FFC Energy Limited, Ministry of Water & Power, Chief Minister and the Government of Sindh, AEDB, federal and provincial agencies and all others who were associated with the setting up of the first wind power project of the country. According to prepared text of his speech, the President remarked that Thatta region was bestowed with immense potential of wind energy. he said that once Thatta was a hub of
civilization, a seat of learning and a centre of art and craft. however, it also remained in oblivion for centuries. The president said that now Thatta will soon become the Wind Power Center for Pakistan. The “Baab-ul-Islam”, Sindh (Thatta) will Insha Allha soon regain its past glory and become power house of development of Pakistan, he said in his remarks. The president said that commencement of commercial operation of FFC Wind Farm was the beginning of exploiting the wind potential of Gharo?Keti Bandar Wind Corridor. This is an area that has power generation potential of 50,000 MW. he said that it was a matter of great satisfaction to learn that many more wind power projects were in pipeline and would commence commercial operations soon. The president said that Pakistan was an energy deficient country. he said that continued population and economic growth has placed great demands on energy. Reversal of previous energy policies, depleting oil and gas reserves and price hike has made the country vulnerable. We cannot afford inaction as it was not an option, the President said. Complimenting the role of AEDB in the project, the President said that he looks forward AEDB’s contributions in other sectors of Renewable Energy as well. We need to have similar successful projects in producing energy from waste, small hydro and sugar cogeneration, he said on the occasion. he said that promotion of alternate modes of energy gen-
eration would not only reduce country’s dependence on costly fuel import but would also address many environmental issues caused by burning of the fuel. he also expressed satisfaction that Fauji Fertilizer would be adding 10 MW SOLAR PV to this 50 MW Wind project. The president said that the launch of the First Wind Farm was an auspicious occasion which clearly demonstrated the commitment of the government to address the issue. The president said that the Government assumed office in the midst of energy crisis when the people of Pakistan were searching for alternatives. he said that the country has tremendous resources of Wind, Solar and hydro power. Unfortunately, he said, these resources have not been fully exploited. he said that converting potential into actual energy requires enabling environment, investment1 and state of the art technology. It requires bankable data, infrastructure, financing, creating incentives to investors and public support. The president expressed satisfaction that the Government has proceeded in the right direction and with a strong will to succeed. On this occasion, the president also recounted various measures undertaken by the Government in the energy sector which included addressing policy and technical issues, initiating supportive measures, developing infrastructure, offering lucrative incentives, collecting bankable data, creating enabling environment and investor confidence, seeking support of interna-
tional financial institutions, and attracting top manufacturers of the world through a cooperative approach. While acknowledging the role of all the partners in efforts to overcome energy shortage, the president said that the Government provided a level playing field to all investors, both local as well as foreigners. he said that the Government provided them one window facility through AEDB. The president invited the local and foreign business community again to invest in energy sector saying that we offer the best incentives in the entire region. he called upon the private entrepreneurs to take great advantage of the incentives being offered by the Government of Pakistan. Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the President also advised Sindh Government to set up an industrial zone in the area so that the business community could take advantage of uninterrupted and continued availability of power. he said that the Government would continue to facilitate the business community through one-window facility as to help them take maximum advantage of the available business opportunities. The president, on the occasion, also stressed upon the need to make appropriate plans and to work keeping in view the future requirements of the country with an increased population and greater requirements. Meanwhile according to project director 33 big turbines have been installed at 1200 acres of land. The project took a year to complete.
Tuesday, 25 December, 2012
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ADB approves $245m to improve Pakistan’s power distribution ISLAMABAD
ONL IN E
hE Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a loan of $245 million (Tranche 3) for the eight distribution companies to improve power distribution system in Pakistan. The investment is part of the ongoing $810 million Power Distribution Enhancement Investment Program agreed n 2008. The multitranche financing facility (MFF) targets investment in priority areas to reduce power losses and increase the reliability of the power distribution system. Through this facility, ADB has already provided financial assistance for upgradation work at 250 grid stations (66 kV and 132 kV) across Pakistan, out of which work relating to 125 grid stations have been completed. The Tranche 3 approved on 14 December 2012 will increase distribution capacity of 106 grid stations including construction of 14 new grid stations. “Energy sector in Pakistan is suffering due to shortages in generation and system bottlenecks at distribution and transmission level. ADB has made available four MFFs amounting to $2.9 billion to address these
system constraints, and will continue to assist Pakistan in the energy sector” said Werner E. Liepach, Country Director of ADB in Pakistan. The project will help the DISCOs improve reliability and quality of power supply to customers. The outcome will be removal of power system bottlenecks through distribution system rehabilitation, augmentation, and expansion. “Energy conservation and
efficiency is the fastest and cheapest way of increasing electricity supply. This project will not only reduce electricity lost during delivery to the customers but will also improve the quality of service” said Rune Stroem, Director for Energy Division in ADB’s Central and West Asia Department. he encouraged the government to continue with more focused reforms in the sector.
Without effective reforms, the investments in the sector will lose its real impact. The project will add 1,881 megavolt-amperes (MVA) of transformer capacity and will improve the transmission system by adding 791 kilometers (km) of new transmission lines and upgrading 399 km of the existing 66 -kilovolt (kV) and 132-kV transmission lines. “The investments are divided among all eight publicly owned distribution companies totaling 106 subprojects. The first tranche is already completed and has shown satisfactory results. The second tranche is also on track. The newly approved tranche is expected to further improve the distribution system” Says Adnan Tareen, Senior Project Officer at ADB Pakistan Resident Mission. ‘however, in order to further improve performance, the government should prioritize monitoring and accountability of the system.” he added. ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region.
Food exports up, imports down in 5 months ISLAMABAD A PP
The food exports of the country during first five months of current fiscal year increased by 2.35 percent while the food imports into the country went down by 12.84 percent as compared to same period of last year showing an improvement in balance of trade in favor of the country. The exports of overall food group were recorded at US $1.612 million during JulyNovember (2012-13) against the exports of US$ 1574.68 million during July-November (2011-12). According to data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the food exports of the country on month basis also increased by 34.23 and 17.5 percent during November 2012 against November 2011 and October 2012 respectively. The food exports increased from US$ 278.969 million in November 2011 and US$ 318.682 million in October 2012 to US$
374.465 million in November 2012. The major food items which recorded increase in their exports during the corresponding period include sugar (100%), meat and meat preparations (42%), oil seeds, nuts and kernels (33.15%), spices (19.30%)vegetables (34.11%), fruits(4.5%) and fish & fish preparation (0.57%). Similarly the food imports into the country stood at $1.859 billion during first five months of current financial year against imports of $2.133 billion during same period of last year. The food imports during the November 2012 declined by 30.74 percent against same month of last year where as compared to last month (October 2012) the imports edged up by 3.2 percent. The food imports during the period under review remained $345.153 million while, the imports during November 2011 and October 2012 remained $438.31 million and $334.457 million respectively. The major food items which recorded
decrease in their imports during the period July-November (2012-13) include spices (32.01%), palm oil (16.62%), sugar (80.84%) and pulses (9.11%). The items which recorded increase in their imports include milk and creams(17.48%), dry fruits and nuts (7.05%), tea (4.39%) and soyabean oil (38.32%). The overall exports from the country witnessed positive growth of 7.85 percent while the imports decreased by 0.91 percent during first five months of current financial year, indicating a positive trends in the overall trade volume of the country. Exports from the country during July-November (2012) were recorded at US$10.1 billion against the exports of US$ 9.347 billion during the same period of last year. On the other hand, the imports into the country decreased from US$18.416 billion last year to US$18.25 billion during the current fiscal year, the data revealed.
02 Business Major Gainers COmpAny UniLever Pak Sanofi-Aventis Pak Atlas Battery Ltd. Pak Oilfields Engro Foods Ltd.
Open 10100.00 375.00 226.00 430.94 91.89
HigH 10200.00 392.00 232.00 436.00 96.48
LOw 10100.00 389.00 230.00 430.01 89.01
CLOSe 10150.00 390.00 231.80 435.36 96.21
CHAnge 50.00 15.00 5.80 4.42 4.32
TUrnOver 440 500 2,200 345,600 5,509,000
4400.00 1468.95 445.00 250.00 172.15
4200.00 1342.00 422.75 242.48 166.00
4200.00 1360.00 422.75 242.48 166.01
-100.00 -39.00 -22.25 -12.76 -6.14
100 1,900 200 22,900 2,400
6.50 12.60 7.95 2.71 96.48
5.40 12.25 7.50 2.46 89.01
6.18 12.35 7.61 2.51 96.21
0.41 0.26 0.12 0.10 4.32
33,413,500 9,138,500 8,784,500 6,520,500 5,509,000
Major Losers Unilever Food Bata (Pak) Shezan Inter. Pak.Int.Cont. SD Service Industries
4300.00 1399.00 445.00 255.24 172.15
Volume Leaders TRG Pakistan Ltd. Byco Petroleum Lotte PakPTA Dewan Salman Engro Foods Ltd.
5.77 12.09 7.49 2.41 91.89
Interbank Rates US Dollar UK Pound Japanese Yen Euro
97.5007 157.8049 1.1549 128.8277
Dollar East US Dollar Euro Great Britain Pound Japanese Yen Canadian Dollar Hong Kong Dollar UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal Australian Dollar
BUy 97.40 128.22 156.81 1.1410 97.50 12.40 26.48 25.94 100.38
SeLL 98.10 129.44 158.27 1.1516 98.91 12.58 26.70 26.15 102.77
Oil down in Asia on US fiscal cliﬀ worries
SINGAPORE: Oil prices were lower in quiet Christmas eve trade Monday with traders discouraged by a political stalemate in the US over a deal to avert the fiscal cliff, analysts said. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in February shed 16 cents to $88.50 and Brent North Sea crude for February delivery fell eight cents to $108.89. Political bickering over a deal to avert the fiscal cliff weighed on markets in a “relatively quiet session” before the Christmas holiday, said Jason hughes, head of premium client management for IG Markets Singapore. “We’ve still got concerns over where we stand in the fiscal cliff that remains a concern that keeps traders cautious,” he said. AGENCIES
‘Greece not doing enough against rich tax dodgers’ Greece’s drive to crack down on flagrant tax evaders such as doctors and lawyers is flagging and must be reinvigorated, a report by the European Union and International Monetary Fund said on Monday. g
Athens has collected just half the tax debts and conducted less than half the audits it was supposed to under the targets set by its lenders, according to a survey by the country’s international lenders which was compiled in November. “The mission expresses concern that authorities are falling idle and that the drive to fight tax evasion by the very wealthy and the free professions is at risk of weakening,” it said. By the end of September authorities had conducted 440 checks on suspected wealthy tax evaders, compared with a
full-year target of 1,300. About 1.1 billion euros in overdue taxes have been collected so far, less than the 2 billion euros targeted. The lenders urged Greece to improve tax collection and focus on the cases most likely to produce results. “Doctors and lawyers are a good place to start,” they said. Tax evasion is endemic in Greece, making it more difficult for the government to shore up its finances under its 240-billion-euro international bailout. With revenues falling short and the austerity-hit country obliged to meet its fiscal targets when its economy is shrinking for a fifth year, Athens is hiking taxes on middle-class wage earners who can’t
hide their income. After a Christmas recess, parliament is expected to pass a new tax law which aims to raise about 2.5 billion euros over
the next two years as part of a 13.5 billion euro austerity package. A second piece of long-delayed legislation to crack down on tax evasion will
follow later in the year, the government said. Perceived tax injustice has dented the popularity of Greece’s pro-bailout ruling coalition. The radical leftist Syriza party, which opposes austerity and advocates a big and immediate debt writedown, has taken the lead in almost all the opinion polls published since a June election. Improving Greece’s slow tax administration and justice is a key objective of the bailout. According to the report, individuals and companies have racked up 53 billion euros of tax debts to the government, a figure that corresponds to about a quarter of the country’s gross domestic product. But just 15-20 percent of that amount can be collected, the EU/IMF said, given that a large number of these tax cases are old and the debtors have already defaulted. According to a list of tax sinners published last year, Greece’s biggest tax debtor was state-run railway company OSE.
Tuesday, 25 December, 2012