IMF plans reform

WASHINGTON: A long-awaited reform of the IMF’s voting procedures that gives developing countries a modest increase in influence has received broad support from the IMF members. The new initiative would shift voting rights by 2.7 per cent away from advanced economies and in favour of developing countries. It still has to be formally approved by 85 per cent of the lending institution’s 185 members, according to current voting shares. — DPA

Low investment

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is struggling to reverse the effects of low investment in agricultural research in the 1990s. Despite being an agrarian economy, the country’s investment in agricultural research declined 31 per cent between 1991 and 2000, said M E Tusneem, chairman of the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council. The International Food Policy Research Institute sources show a sharp decline in Pakistan agricultural research in the 1990s, the lowest among SAARC countries. — HNS

Rift in Mittal brothers

LONDON: Lakshmi Mittal, owner of the world’s largest steel company and his younger brother Pramod Mittal have denied rumours of a family feud, the Sunday Times reported.

The newspaper reported Lakshmi Mittal, chairman of ArcelorMittal, is bidding to buy an ailing Bulgarian steel plant owned by his brother at a price that is lower than what Pramod Mittal expects. — HNS