Thursday Jan 30, 2020
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-s-Insaf (PTI) led government on Wednesday unveiled an ambitious programme to privatise 33 state-owned entities during the current fiscal year, including six public sector enterprises (PSEs), reported The News.
Federal Minister for Privatization Main Muhammad Soomro said that the government has also set a target to open auctions of 27 state-owned unproductive properties in the current quarter.
“The government planned to privitise SMEs bank, First Women Bank, two RLNG power plants including Haveli Bhadar Shah and Balloki, Mari Petroleum Company Limited, Services International Hotel Lahore and Jinnah Convention Centre Islamabad,” Soomro told a news briefing.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan, and Secretary Privatization Rizwan Malik also attended the briefing.
“The proceeds from these transactions would be utilized on debt servicing and public welfare projects.” Soomro said, adding that the government had received 12 bids for the privatisation of National Power Parks Management Company Limited (NPPMCL). “This shows foreign investors are keen to invest in Pakistan,” he added.
The NPPMCL owns two power plants located at Balloki and Haveli Bahadur Shah, which have a combined generation capacity of 2,453 megawatts. The minister said investors from Japan, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Pakistan have submitted their bids for the firm.
The government has also planned to divest up to 7 percent of its stakes in Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) and 10 percent of its shares of Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL).
Soomro said the auctioning of 27 state-owned unproductive properties will be carried out in the next two months. “Foreign investors from Dubai and Qatar and overseas Pakistanis had expressed interest in buying these properties,” Malik said.
He said a plan to revive Pakistan Steel Mills through investment from strategic investors had also been finalised and would help in reducing the losses of the steel mills.
“Similarly, we are also working to control financial bleeding of other PSEs. The process takes time for ensuring efficiency as well as transparency," he noted.
The secretary further informed that financial advisers for 14 PSEs had already been appointed, following PPRA rules and the privatisation ordinance. “The government is following the rules and past court judgments while carrying out the privatization of the state owned entities,” he said.
Malik hoped that the country would soon resolve the pending PTCL privatization issue with the UAE based company Etisalat in the next few months. He said the ministry had also decided to transfer three government-owned unproductive properties to the Naya Pakistan housing scheme.
Originally published in The News