Shehbaz warns against red tape in Saudi investment

PM orders expedited sell-off, outsourcing of DISCOs

Our Correspondent April 18, 2024
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. PHOTO: PID/FILE


Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said that he would personally monitor the Saudi investment projects and warned against any laxity due to red tape or outdated procedures.

The prime minister, chairing a meeting to review the matters related to the recent high-powered Saudi delegation and Saudi investment in different sectors, thanked Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for sending a high-level Saudi delegation that would usher in a new era of Saudi investment in Pakistan, trade partnership as well as business ties.

He lauded the relevant federal ministers, the Special Investment Facilitation Council and the relevant senior officers for their efforts for converting the Saudi delegation’s visit into a mutually beneficial partnership.

He instructed the authorities concerned to engage world-class experts to execute the foreign investment projects and called for capacity building of the ministries to achieve the desired results.

He asked the Board of Investment, SIFC and relevant ministries to devise a mechanism to ensure execution of the projects agreed with the Saudi delegation.

Read also: PM Shehbaz anticipates 'billions' in investment after Saudi delegation visit

He told the expected visit of a delegation of prominent Saudi businessmen to Pakistan was welcoming and that further investment opportunities would also be explored during his visit to Saudi Arabia to attend the World Economic Forum to be held in the Kingdom.

The meeting was briefed about the Saudi delegation’s interest and offer for different projects as both the sides had discussed investment prospects in the fields of mining, agriculture, energy, information technology and infrastructural development.

Both sides had also deliberated on making Pakistan part of a global supply chain and value chain.

The participants of the meeting viewed that the visit of delegations from friendly nations to explore investment opportunities was welcoming and termed it a success of the government on the diplomatic front.

The prime minister directed all the ministries concerned and departments to also pay special attention to the government-to-government agreements and business-to-business projects and in this regard the local business community should be taken in confidence.

Power sector

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday directed the relevant authorities to accelerate the process of privatisation and outsourcing of power distribution companies (DISCOs).

Chairing a meeting regarding the power sector, the prime minister said assistance of private sector experts and globally-accepted models should be taken to improve DISCOs management.

He also directed the officials concerned to prepare and present a comprehensive plan in the next meeting to improve the power system in the country.

The prime minister said reforms in the power sector would help reduce the country’s circular debt. He also vowed not to allow electricity thieves and other elements to harm the country’s treasury.


In the meeting, recommendation and measures with respect to preventing power theft, reorganisation of the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) and new projects of the electricity transmission were presented.

The meeting was told that the Matiari-Rahim Yar Khan transmission line and Ghazi Barotha-Faisalabad line will be constructed to ensure power transmission from southern part of the country.

The meeting was further informed that a comprehensive strategy had been evolved for the reorganisation of the NTDC to bring reforms in the power transmission system and to minimise the government’s circular debts.

The prime minister directed to complete all the reforms’ initiatives within the stipulated time.


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