Cabinet approves sale of 31 state properties

Published: June 27, 2019
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State properties are scattered all over the country with certain issues regarding possession, certified revenue record and legal status, which requires comprehensive due diligence. PHOTO: FILE

State properties are scattered all over the country with certain issues regarding possession, certified revenue record and legal status, which requires comprehensive due diligence. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The cabinet has given the go-ahead for immediately initiating the process of selling 31 public-sector properties with a value of around Rs10 billion.

Nine ministries and divisions have prepared a list of 31 properties for putting them on sale immediately, which will help generate funds to support the cash-strapped government.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had constituted an asset management committee comprising five cabinet members and headed by the minister for maritime affairs, which held regular meetings to monitor progress on the matter.

As many as 42 ministries and divisions responded to the prime minister’s directive to identify their properties for sale. Of these, 23 ministries and divisions picked 99 properties for privatisation. After a meeting of the asset management committee on May 23, these properties were listed into four categories.

In the first category, nine ministries and divisions identified 31 properties which were available for immediate privatisation. In the second category, six public-sector enterprises and units were identified, which were already on the privatisation list.

In the third category, different properties were placed which required re-evaluation of land titles by respective development authorities. In the fourth category, 58 assets were placed including those facing litigation, leased properties and those allotted and gifted for specific purpose which could not be considered for disposal.

In order to initiate the process, 31 properties of nine ministries and divisions were selected having value of around Rs10 billion subject to the provision of relevant certified documents and information. The asset management committee sent templates of the authority letter to the ministries and organisations concerned.

Once the certified title documents and authority letters are received from the ministries and divisions, the Privatisation Commission will invite Expressions of Interest (EOI) for hiring financial advisers and evaluators after approval of the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation.

Financial advisers will complete the sale process including due diligence, marketing and bidding whereas the evaluator will only give the reference price. A consortium of financial advisers will be led by a real estate advisory service provider including a law firm and evaluator as notified by the Pakistan Banks Association or the SBP. State properties are scattered all over the country with certain issues regarding possession, certified revenue record and legal status, which requires comprehensive due diligence to complete all processes in an efficient, fair and transparent manner.

Unlike the evaluator, the incentive of success fee for the financial advisers will enable them to maximise sale proceeds for the government of Pakistan and ensure successful completion of transactions.

The Privatisation Commission will initiate the process of sale of available clear properties in accordance with the prescribed rules. Available properties will be evaluated by experts of the SBP.

The commission will also prepare a timeline for the sale of the remaining properties after meeting all the required formalities. The cabinet, in its meeting held in the first week of June, took up the matter and gave the go-ahead for selling 31 public-sector properties to generate funds.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2019.

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