ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet, which is expected to meet on Tuesday, is likely to allow an extension in a business partnership with Saudi Arabia for another 50 years following a pledge by the kingdom that it will make an investment of billions of dollars in the South Asian nation.
In this regard, the Finance Division has requested the cabinet to approve an extension in the life span of Saudi-Pak Industrial and Agriculture Investment Company for 50 years effective June 5, 2030, in a bid to continue the joint venture between the two countries.
The company was incorporated on December 2, 1980, following the signing of a joint venture agreement on June 4, 1980, by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. It is a joint investment company, with equal stakes for the two sides, formed to make an investment in industrial and agro-based industrial fields in Pakistan.
The life of the company was limited to 50 years. However, Article IV of the joint venture agreement empowers the two governments to extend terms of the company, as deemed fit, by an extraordinary resolution passed in general meeting of the company.
Saudi Arabia has agreed to extend terms of Saudi-Pak Industrial and Agriculture Investment Company for a period of 50 years. The company has been making an investment in various industrial and agro-based industrial projects in Pakistan and has been a profitable enterprise for both governments.
The performance of the firm over the past several years in terms of earnings has been satisfactory.
As reported by the company, some lucrative business transactions at hand will go beyond the firm’s expiry date of June 4, 2030, and cannot be undertaken without extension in the company’s life. These business transactions are likely to increase investment in Pakistan.
Responding to the request, the Finance Division has requested the cabinet to extend the life of Saudi-Pak Investment Company for another 50 years effective June 5, 2030.
Science and technology council
The cabinet will also consider a proposal of nominating two eminent industrialists for the board of governors of the Pakistan Council for Science and Technology.
It was established in 1961 through a cabinet resolution and given under administrative control of the Ministry of Science and Technology. Its board composition provides that two eminent industrialists are to be nominated by the federal government as members for a term of three years.
A panel of prominent industrialists includes Umar Ashraf, Managing Director Super Asia Motors, Senator Mohsin Aziz, Chairman Aziz Group of Industries, Syed Mazhar Ali Nasir, former vice president Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), Muhammad Adrees, former president FPCCI and CEO Sitara Chemical Industries, and Shaikh Khalid Tawab, senior vice president FPCCI.
The cabinet will also take up a proposal of placing the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) under the Ministry of Interior.
The interior ministry has requested that Nacta should be included in Schedule-11 of the Rules of Business 1973 as an entity of the Interior Division. Amendments to the Rules of Business are to be approved by the cabinet. The Cabinet Division has proposed that the cabinet may approve the inclusion of Nacta in Schedule-11 of the Rules of Business 1973 as an entity under the Interior Division. Necessary amendments to the Rules of Business will be made accordingly.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 1st, 2019.