November 23, 2009
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday formally joined the international community of fighter aircraft manufacturers as JF 17 Thunder, the first ever multi role state of the art rolled out of Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Kamra and was included to the fleet of Pakistan Air Force. Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani was the chief guest at the ceremony that marked a milestone in the Sino Pak joint venture in air defence system. Senate Chairman Farooq H. Naik, Federal Minister for Information Qamar Zaman Kaira, Defence Minister Ch Ahmed Mukhtar, Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Luo Zhaohui, Pakistan’s ambassador to China Masood Khan and three services chiefs attended the ceremony.
The sophisticated JF 17 Thunder, painted green in the colour scheme of national flag appeared with grandeur as the Prime Minister unveiled the fighter jet before the audience. Manufactured with the cooperation of China, the event has been termed as a beginning of new era of Pak China friendship. Addressing a select gathering of local and foreign dignitaries and PAF officials, the Prime Minister said the goals of progress and prosperity could not be achieved without achieving self reliance in the defence production.
Compiled by: Mirza Rohail B
History & Introduction
Growth of cement industry is rightly considered a barometer for economic activity. In 1947, Pakistan had inherited 4 cement plants with a total capacity of 0.5 million tons. Some expansion took place in 1956-66 but could not keep pace with the economic development and the country had to resort to imports of cement in 1976-77 and continued to do so till 1994-95. The industry was privatized in 1990 which led to setting up of new plants. Although an oligopoly market, there exists fierce competition between members of the cartel today.
The industry comprises of 29 firms (19 units in the north and 10 units in the south), with the installed production capacity of 44.09 million tons. The north with installed production capacity of 35.18 million tons (80 percent) while the south with installed production capacity of 8.89 million tons (20 percent), compete for the domestic market of over 19 million tons. There are four foreign companies, three armed forces companies and 16 private companies listed in the stock exchanges. The industry is divided into two broad regions, the northern region and the southern region. The northern region has around 80 percent share in total cement dispatches while the units based in the southern region contributes 20 percent to the annual cement sales.
Compiled by: Mirza Rohail B
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is a substitute for gasoline (petrol) or diesel fuel. It is considered to be an environmentally “clean” alternative to those fuels. It is made by compressing methane (CH4) extracted from natural gas. Argentina and Brazil are the two other countries with the largest fleets of CNG vehicles. As of 2005, Pakistan is the largest user of CNG in Asia, and as of 2010, the largest in the world, according to the The International Association of Natural Gas Vehicles (IANGV).
The Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) sector of Pakistan by end of 2007 has attracted over Rs 70 billion investments during the last few years as a result of liberal and encouraging policies of the government. Presently, around 3,105 CNG stations are operating in the country in 85 cities and towns, and 1000 more would be setup in the next three years. It has provided employment to above 30,000 people in Pakistan.
Over 2.4 million vehicles were converted to CNG as of end 2009, showing an increase of 35 percent yearly. On average 29,167 vehicles are being converted to CNG every month. All Pakistan CNG Association (APA) Sana-ur-Rehman confirms that CNG stakeholders have invested Rs.90 billion in this sector and another Rs 20 billion investment is in pipeline. The CNG consumers had invested around Rs 60 billion in converting their vehicles to CNG.
Compiled by: Mirza Rohail B
The manufacturing sector grew at an average rate of 8 percent from the sixties to the eighties, but fell to 3.9 percent during the nineties. This was mainly caused by reduction in investment levels due to lack of continuity and consistency in policies. Political instability law and order position in the major industrial centers, transport bottlenecks, as well as unreliability and inadequate availability of power supply at affordable rates were additional factors pulling down the sector.
The sector has shown impressive recovery recently and has grown at a compound rate of 10.9 percent per annum during 2001 – 05, with Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) growing even faster, becoming 19.9% in 2005.
The contribution of Large-Scale Manufacturing at basic prices stand at Rs 844 billion as compared with Rs 264 billion in 2000-01, figures from the Census of Large-Scale Manufacturing Industries (CMI) 2005-06 show.
Courtesy: South Asia Investor Review
Pakistan and Germany have initiated serious discussions of German funding of eight ongoing and new hydropower projects worth billions of dollars. These talks are taking place in Islamabad between visiting German Minister for Economic Co-operation and Development Ms. Heidemaire Wiegoreak Zeul and Pakistani Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance Mr. Shaukat Tarin, according Business Recorder newspaper.
The projects currently under discussion include 621 MW Palas hydropower project, 567 MW Spat Gah hydropower project, 28 MW Basho hydropower project, 33 MW Harpo hydropower project, 70 MW Lawi hydropower project, Naigaj hydropower project and 300 KW Hingol hydropower project, 43 KW Kurram Tangi Dam. As a start, the German Economic Minister said her country had already committed finances for Keyal Khwar hydropower project located in NWFP on river Indus at Dasu. The project would generate 130 MW power. The focus of many of these development projects are the rural areas in the North West Frontier Province and the least developed federally administered tribal areas of the country affected by insurgencies.