Previous Section Index Home Page


Coal Concessions

Mr. Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement concerning origins of future supplies of concessionary coal to retired mineworkers. [101425]

Mrs. Liddell: Concessionary coal includes a variety of manufactured smokeless fuels, housecoal, and anthracite. Under the current contracts most fuel has been UK sourced. Supplies beyond March 2000 are the subject of a competitive tender, which I am still assessing. I hope that the UK suppliers will continue to make their products available to the distributors appointed by the Department, and that the products they offer are competitive in terms of both prices and quality.

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what criteria he will adopt to award the contract for the supply and distribution of concessionary coal to former British coal miners. [101216]

Mrs. Liddell [holding answer 6 December 1999]: As notified in the Official Journal of the European Communities, the award criteria for contracts for the supply and distribution of concessionary fuel are the economically most advantageous bids in terms of price, security of supply and quality maintenance standards.

Utilities (Operating Profits)

Mr. Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the operating profit to-date of each (a) regional water authority, (b) regional electricity authority and (c) regional gas authority. [101430]

8 Dec 1999 : Column: 571W

Mrs. Liddell: The water industry falls within the responsibilities of my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister. Figures for the electricity industry are published in the annual report of the Office of Electricity Regulation which is available in the Library of the House. Figures for the gas industry are published in the Annual Report and Accounts of British Gas, subsequently Centrica and BGplc.

Parcelforce

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what policy changes he is planning as a result of the reported half-year loss by Parcelforce. [101731]

Mr. Alan Johnson: The half-year loss reported by Parcelforce is a matter of commercial and financial policy for Parcelforce management. It represents a 6 per cent. reduction in loss compared to the equivalent period to September 1998. Further improved operational efficiency from measures, such as the new express and international hubs at Coventry coming on-stream, are expected to make a positive contribution to the financial position of Parcelforce.

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what measures he is implementing to ensure the half-year loss by Parcelforce does not constitute a hidden subsidy; and if he will make a statement on his assessment of the effect this loss will have on competitors. [101805]

Mr. Alan Johnson: Parcelforce operates in a competitive area and is continuing to improve its competitiveness and profitability, as shown by its improved financial performance. The Post Office is required to take steps to make sure there is no undue cross-subsidy between Royal Mail monopoly services and Parcelforce. These include the separation of accounts and, in accordance with normal practice, a requirement that the in-year funding requirement to Parcelforce from Post Office Group is charged at a commercial rate.

In future the new, independent regulator, the Postal Services Commission, will ensure that any cross-subsidy from the monopoly areas to competitive activities is the minimum required, in its opinion, to ensure the continued provision of services required by the Universal Service Obligation at a uniform public tariff (which includes the standard parcels service). The Postal Services Commission will also ensure fair competition.

Airbus Project

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the effect of the United Kingdom's participation in the military company's airbus A400M project on employment in the UK. [101656]

Mr. Alan Johnson: The Future Transport Aircraft (FTA) competition is being run by the Ministry of Defence. The A400M, along with Boeing's C-17 and Lockheed Martin's C130J, is a contender in the competition. The Department of Trade and Industry is involved in the consideration of the industrial implications of this procurement. Our assessment looks at the possible impacts of each bid on the UK's industrial and technological capabilities. The impact on UK employment levels is one aspect of this.

8 Dec 1999 : Column: 572W

The FTA competition is still at the competitive bidding stage and it would be inappropriate to publish information provided to both MOD and DTI by companies as part of this process.

Departmental Research Contracts

Dr. Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many research contracts have been let by his Department since May 1997; what is the value of each contract; and in each case whether the contract included (a) a departmental veto over publication of the research results, (b) departmental control over the date of publication of the research results and (c) a requirement that the final research results incorporate departmental amendments. [100157]

Mr. Byers [holding answer 6 December 1999]: This information would be available only at disproportionate cost.

Developing Countries

Ms Kingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list by country (a) the amount recovered by the Export Credits Guarantee Department and (b) the amount repaid under aid loans, for each of the countries defined by the World Bank as developing countries, in each of the last two financial years. [101414]

Mr. Caborn: From the information available, Table 1 shows the value of debts recovered by the Exports Credits Guarantee Department and Table 2 shows the amount repaid under aid loans. Both Annexes refer to countries defined by the World Bank as developing nations and include amounts from the last two financial years.

Table 1: Amounts recovered by ECGD, by financial year

1997-981998-99
Highly Indebted Poor countries
Angola----
Burkina Faso0.0680.08
Burundi----
Cameroon1.8342.915
Central African Republic----
Congo0.22--
Congo (Dr)0.9--
Cote d'Ivoire0.723.845
Ethiopia0.440.563
Ghana3.8481.518
Guinea0.1680.154
Guinea Bissau0.128--
Guyana5.0793.498
Haiti0.425--
Honduras----
Liberia----
Madagascar0.3730.446
Malawi0.6130.842
Mali0.2750.263
Mauritania0.6090.322
Mozambique0.963--
Myanmar----
Nicaragua0.1030.039
Niger0.0480.103
Nigeria1.7048.195
Rwanda----
Sao Tome----
Sierra Leone----
Somalia----
Sudan----
Tanzania3.9929.731
Uganda0.773--
Vietnam0.7720.85
Yemen Rep4.5743.49
Zambia1.842.01
Moderately Indebted Low Income countries
Bangladesh----
Benin0.1870.216
Cambodia----
Chad----
Comoras----
Gambia0.101--
India0.7090.466
Kenya9.21911.589
Lao PDR----
Pakistan0.114--
Senegal0.0590.02
Togo0.5170.161
Zimbabwe0.0250.273
Severely Indebted Middle Income countries
Argentina23.03521.099
Bolivia1.1751.065
Brazil144.246107.702
Bulgaria1.6474.427
Cuba----
Ecuador1.997--
Gabon14.8041.561
Indonesia0.4981.639
Iraq0.0840.05
Jamaica0.6850.723
Jordan24.17417.194
Peru9.1729.619
Syrian Arab Republic6.2260.266
Moderately Indebted Middle Income countries
Algeria10.88914.559
Chile----
Colombia----
Georgia----
Hungary----
Macedonia0.6450.805
Malaysia----
Mexico41.47945.45
Morocco17.94910.373
Panama----
Philippines10.495.103
St. Vincent----
Thailand----
Tunisia----
Turkey----
Uruguay----
Venezuela6.1980.177
Severely Indebted Low Income countries
Afghanistan----
Burundi----
Laos----

8 Dec 1999 : Column: 573W

Table 2: Amounts repaid under aid loans

1997-981998-99
Afghanistan----
Antigua and Barbuda(19)----
Bangladesh----
Barbados19,350.0019,360.00
Belize----
Botswana----
Brazil382,536.14254,466.07
Cameroon----
Caymen Islands(20)62,760.0064,560.00
Columbia218,342.9151,774.45
Costa Rica554,572.96373,437.30
Cyprus20,400.0020,400.00
Dominica270,500.00--
Ecuador338,500.00366,833.91
Egypt----
Ethiopia----
Gambia----
Ghana----
Grenada375,200.00--
Guyana----
Honduras----
India13,499,527.557,747,819.00
Indonesia----
Ivory Coast----
Jamaica3,862,234.10--
Jordan----
Laos----
Malawi----
Malaysia516,200.00516,200.00
Mauritius404,009.15191,850.00
Mozambique(21)----
Nicaragua----
Nigeria----
Pakistan----
Paraguay234,600.00234,600.00
Peru----
Philippines738,019.54561,166.36
Senegal----
Seychelles----
Sierra Leone----
Solomon Islands(22)----
Sri Lanka----
St. Kitts----
St. Lucia----
St. Vincent--263,200.00
Sudan----
Swaziland831,801.48381,270.90
Tonga65,600.00--
Tunisia26,660.72--
Turkey3,368,301.543,368,301.54
TCI82,563.97--
Zambia----
W. Somoa----
Zimbabwe1,458,640.001,229,420.00
Total Bilateral27,330,320.0615,644,679.53

(19) 1991

(20) 1975/1

(21) 1976

(22) 1981


8 Dec 1999 : Column: 574W


Next Section Index Home Page