The government of Pakistan is now pondering to start back privatization programme which focuses on privatizing Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) and energy companies in order to reduce the losses—Nation reported.
During the Privatization Commission’s Board meeting, Federal Minister for privatization Danyal Aziz chaired the meeting and took a decision to resume privatization programme, the government had put a pause on privatization programme earlier after reviewing the performance of profit-generating organizations which could create a balance between the profit and loss incurred by various organizations. The profit-making government-owned companies include Habib Bank Limited (HBL), Allied Bank Limited (ABL), United Bank Limited (UBL) National Power Construction Company and Pakistan Petroleum Limited. The government made $1.7 billion through privatization since June 2013.
The PC board has extended their approval to begin next steps for privatization of SME Bank and Heavy Electrical Complex. It’s expected that privatization of these will soon take place, the government also decided to work on the detailed plan by hiring financial advisors to divest GoP shares in Mari Petroleum Company Limited.
The minister said the government wants to privatize Pakistan Steel Mills on a priority basis in order to reduce the losses being incurred to the national exchequer.
The privatization of Pakistan International Airline Corporation Limited (PIACL) was also discussed in the meeting. The people in the meeting said the privatization of PIACL has become difficult due to current legislation which restricts the transfer of 51% GoP shares and management to the investors. The minister said we will approach the government to clarify whether the privatization of PIA is an option or not. If the government requires its privatization then necessary amendments can be made in the current legislation to kick off the privatization process of PIACL.
The government is also concerned about improving the performance and efficiency of power sector, after a detailed discussion in the meeting it was decided that commission would ask government for the approval of privatization of the companies including Northern Power Generation Company (NPGC) Islamabad Electric Supply Company Limited (IESCO) and Faisalabad Electric Supply Company Limited (FESCO) as well.
PC Chairman Danyal Aziz thanked board members to support the government’s privatization agenda, he hoped to work jointly as a team to ensure the efficiency and stability in government-owned entities. The meeting ended to look forward to the next meeting in which implementation and progress of the decisions would be evaluated.