Privatisation: ‘Seven entities’ to go under hammer this year

Inter-ministerial coordination will further be improved for a robust privatisation programme, says PM Imran Khan


Rizwan Ghilzai/Haseeb Hanif March 05, 2020
A view of the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. PHOTO COURTESY: ROOSEVELTHOTEL.COM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said every possible effort should be made for the timely completion of privatisation programme, which has been facing delays because of unfavourable situations.

“Inter-ministerial coordination will further be improved for a robust privatisation programme,” he said while presiding over a meeting held to review the development regarding privatisation of different government and private properties.

The prime minister said that privatisation of such entities that having been generating profits or been unused is in the national interest of the country. “It will help overcome the problems being faced by the economy and utilise financial resources for other social and development projects,” he added.

During the meeting, the privatisation division secretary briefed the premier on the development made so far for the privatisation of different properties.

“This year, the privitisation programme for the seven entities – including two re-gasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) power projects, small and medium enterprises (SME) bank, Services International Hotel in Lahore, Jinnah Convention Centre in Islamabad, and 27 properties of government lands — will be completed,” the secretary said. He told the premier that the seven transactions will be completed by May and June.

After the briefing, PM Imran directed the authorities to complete the task in the allotted period. In this regard, he called for improving the inter-ministerial coordination to take swift action to the impediments being witnessed in the process.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government has been making efforts to boost up the  economy as per its promises but facing hurdles in the process, which they say will overcome with the premier quite often saying “don’t to worry”.

Among other measures, the federal government is considering on the advice to lease or run on public-private partnership basis the Roosevelt Hotel governed by the national flag carrier.

“There are advices to take out the lease on Roosevelt Hotel governed by the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). The hotel will be leased for a long time and the income generated through the process will be spent on the development of the PIA. Over the years, the hotel has not been able to generate muc revenue,” Minister for Privaisation
Mohammad Mian Soomro said during the meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Privatisation.

The meeting, which met under the chairmanship of Syed Mustafa Mahmud, was told that there is also a suggestion for running the said entity on public-private partnership basis.

To this, the chairman said that during the last meeting the PIA officials did not have with complete information. He lamented that the questions related to investment limited will remain unanswered.

The PIA official said the Roosevelt Hotel is the property of the PIA and the authorities concerned are currently in New York, US that has been informed to the committee’s secretary.

“The government has 96 per cent shares in the PIA, why it is being made a secret company,” said Mahmud. The official said: “The PIA Limited Company is not yet under the privatisation list.” The chairman lamented over the lack of strategy from the government.

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COMMENTS (1)

masood | 1 year ago | Reply Roosevelt hotel is a national asset, though owned by PIA at this time, it is never to be privatized. Its location gives it a unique business edge over other such properties in NY. It is the heart of NY city. Government of Pakistan must come up with a viable business plan. In NY even YMCA hostels make money. Why PIA property cannot generate a self sustaining or profitable operation.
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