Privatisation of PTCL: A lesson for policymakers

Published: March 13, 2012
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The writer teaches Strategy & Policy at the University of Cambridge

The writer teaches Strategy & Policy at the University of Cambridge

What is common among Temasek (which also controls majority shares in Singapore Airlines and SingTel), China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), Haier, Emirates airlines, Dubai Ports, and Petronas (Malaysia), apart from the fact that they are all highly successful global companies? The answer: all of them are either wholly owned by the state or have significant state ownership.

The development of all these companies was guided by states that harboured strong ambitions to produce national champions. In Pakistan, any such ambition has been conspicuous by its very absence. Particularly, in the case of state-owned enterprises there has been no intention to develop them along the lines of the organisations mentioned above. Rather, selling them off as soon as possible and pocketing the proceeds has been the norm. This is easily illustrated through the case of PTCL which was privatised on the pretext that it was an inefficient, incompetent, out-of-date behemoth which was blocking the progress of telecommunication in Pakistan. Former president General Pervez Musharraf’s private banker knew only one way forward. And so, PTCL was sold off to the Dubai-based Etisalat (26 per cent stake with full managerial control).

The fact is that PTCL was anything but incompetent! Few realise that PTCL was, before its privatisation, one of the leading telecom players in Asia. It had a large pool of expert technicians, many of whom had even been deputed for short periods to foreign countries to help lay telecommunication networks. Within South Asia, it had been the first to introduce several telecomm and had an extensive copper and fibre optic network. To maintain its world-class performance, it had several schools that imparted training to fresh recruits and existing employees.

Financially too, PTCL’s performance was enviable. In 2005, the year of its privatisation, PTCL posted revenues of 84 billion rupees, with earnings before interest, tax and depreciation of 54 billion rupees and a net profit of 27 billion rupees. While the sector boomed worldwide and companies in other countries bought licenses in foreign markets and acquired newer technologies to retain and gain subscribers, due to the government’s short-sighted policies, PTCL was prevented from using these earnings to make strategic investments abroad.

Six years after privatisation, not only has the government failed to recover the full price from Etisalat ($800 million is still outstanding), but in various payments and opportunity cost, it has paid back almost all the amount it received from Etisalat (Technical fee, opportunity cost of delayed payments, redundancy payments).

As for the predictions that were made six years ago of a glorious future under Etisalat, unfortunately PTCL’s fortunes have declined rather than improve. In the four years prior to privatisation, profits after tax grew from about 18 billion to over 27 billion rupees, a rate equivalent to 11 per cent per annum. In the six years post-privatisation, earnings fell to almost eight billion rupees (at a negative growth of 18 per cent per annum). Similarly, the profit margin declined from an average of 71 per cent over the four years prior to privatisation, to 47 per cent over the six years since (based on an average EBITDA of 50 billion versus 43 billion) and continues to fall. This magnitude of change is unprecedented in the telecommunication sector, whether in Pakistan or internationally. Etisalat does not seem too worried, perhaps because the parent company can always skim the top line rather than the bottom when one has control of the board.

Etisalat cannot blame the decline on the reduction in fixed line operations. While this trend is real, however, fixed line customers for Pakistani competitors such as NTC and WorldCall grew over the same period. Moreover, PTCL’s financial performance has compared unfavourably with international peers. Also, while PTCL and Etisalat like to trumpet the success of Ufone, it has lost its position as number two in the mobile market to Telenor, which despite launching nearly five years after Ufone is 20 per cent larger in revenue terms than Ufone (based on 12 months data as of June 2011).

No wonder, then, that six years after privatisation, the market value of PTCL shares has declined from 358 billion rupees in June 2005 to 53 billion rupees in December 2011 — a loss of 225-billion-rupee to the government of Pakistan and the minority investors of PTCL, who together still own 74 per cent of the shares. The share has dipped below its Rs10 par value and also trades well below its book value of Rs19.27 per share, indicating the low faith that the market places on the current management.

These losses incurred by the shareholders are in sharp contrast to Etisalat and its employees based in Pakistan, who have awarded themselves excessive financial packages. Despite the sharp decline in profitability, the CEO of PTCL (an Etisalat appointee) increased his financial package to Rs 96m per annum — one of the highest in the country.

Meanwhile, PTCL’s service continues to plumb new depths. Network maintenance and operation, as well as customer care, have suffered severely. Many of the best linesmen and other technical hands took up the offer of golden handshakes and left. Hundreds of thousands of connections have been lost as a result and many are non-functional. As a result, getting your telephone line repaired can take forever.

PTCL, whose talented engineers helped set up networks for several global companies (including Etisalat) is now simply an insignificant part of a foreign company’s global business — the strategy is simply to milk PTCL to pay for itself. In its own huge market, Pakistan does not have a single national operator.

It is almost certain that if PTCL was given the necessary autonomy and told to take a route similar to other state-owned corporations such as SingTel, Etisalat or Telekom Malaysia, it would have become a regional giant by acquiring licenses in South Asian, African and Middle-Eastern countries. But then that would have required much bigger ambitions than those one has come to expect in Islamabad.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 14th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (61)

  • Mar 13, 2012 - 11:26PM

    Pakistan’s Irony and reason for misery. Brilliantly put by the author.

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  • Mahmood Saeed
    Mar 13, 2012 - 11:45PM

    You are talking about states where leadership knows the difference between “the national kitty” and “the personal purse”.

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  • junaid atique
    Mar 14, 2012 - 12:00AM

    Excellent Work by author.. Great Man hats off to you! Same thing happened with Paktel Now Zong.. They are still providing very bad service.. And Pakistan is still no where in global village!

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  • Timorov
    Mar 14, 2012 - 12:07AM

    Absolutely brilliant piece Professor Munir. I wish we had people like you teaching at LUMS and other Pakistani universities, guest lecturing and running TV shows in order guiding our youth to have high ambitions, think strategically and for the long run. S.O.Es can work, and work really well. Even the Economist, of all papers recently had a piece on their efficacy (part of their recent obsession with the “Beijing Consensus”.

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  • Falcon
    Mar 14, 2012 - 12:10AM

    Very interesting. Based on the data you have provided, net profit margin percentage north of 30% is one of the highest across industry sectors in emerging markets, I believe. Furthermore, it would have been also interesting to see how much the post-sale stock-price has been affected by internal vs. external (or systematic factors) by comparing it with movement of a regional index, since there might be macro-economic developments as well as recent industry related factors that might have contributed to some of this significant decline in value rather than firm strategy / operations alone.

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  • Ahsan J
    Mar 14, 2012 - 12:17AM

    Beautifully written… nice work

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Mar 14, 2012 - 12:31AM

    Those who were involved in privatization of PTCL did not realized at the time of privatization as what continuous loss they are making for the country just to get one time personal benefit.

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  • H Chaudhry
    Mar 14, 2012 - 12:38AM

    Article is good but off the point. Government is in business of public service and not running businesses. Privatisation is the right thing to do, every entity from PIA, Railways, Steel Mills, etc must be privatised. No business can perform if it keeps getting Governmental subsidy. Either you perform or exit the market. Free market economis is only way to development.

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  • Truth Teller
    Mar 14, 2012 - 1:30AM

    Whatever we touch becomes dust! It’s just in our stars.

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  • yousaf
    Mar 14, 2012 - 1:49AM

    @author:–It is very sad for me that I am one of the very few who do not realise that PTCL was “before its privatisation”one of the major players in telecom.What I fail to understand is why then most,if not all,highly qualified,left this “golden egg laying hen” corporation

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  • Jehanzeb Khan
    Mar 14, 2012 - 1:59AM

    Thank you for such an insightful article. Much appreciated.

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  • Ali Khan
    Mar 14, 2012 - 2:04AM

    Chaudhry Sahib you are an endangered species: a person who reads the papers and still believes in free markets. Wake up and smell the coffee. Even your high priests have recanted! Brilliant article. So what should the government do now? I say buy its shares back at market prices and kick out the imported incompetent top management.

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  • Imtiaz
    Mar 14, 2012 - 2:10AM

    It is good that it was privatized. Our government is full of corruption and political parties would have staffed it with their party Jiyalas like they destroyed Pakistan railways.

    In a corrupt country like Pakistan where everyone is looting and abusing government institutions, its better to have privatized companies run like family businesses.

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  • Mirza
    Mar 14, 2012 - 2:29AM

    One of the best Op Ed on this subject with the numbers and facts to back up. What was wrong when the country was making lot of money and providing jobs to Pakistanis? Thanks for the nice paper!

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  • Ch Allah Daad
    Mar 14, 2012 - 2:42AM

    The author is comparing apples with oranges. All state run companies he mentioned are foreign. Better comparison would have been with other Pakistan government run business. PTCL’s privitisation was a scam. If it had been done honestly, the results would have been different.

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  • IMRAN
    Mar 14, 2012 - 3:14AM

    Great smack on the faces of brokerage houses who used to paint rosy pictures of PTCL….Shame on KASB and BMA

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  • Bishop Dr. Ijaz Inayat
    Mar 14, 2012 - 3:22AM

    Dear writer and readers,
    Dont you think the kickback was a valid reason to sell it off.

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  • Saad
    Mar 14, 2012 - 3:26AM

    Very well written.

    Instead of selling of the white elephants the Mush-regime thought about selling a perfectly viable functioning and above all profitable organisation.

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  • Ahmad
    Mar 14, 2012 - 3:40AM

    @H Chaudhry:

    Those other businesses mentioned by the author are not subsidized by their respective government, since they are actually profitable entities. They make their governments money. Imagine that.

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  • Farz
    Mar 14, 2012 - 4:08AM

    The author failed to mention Zardari lead government holds 60+% ownership of PTCL currently which they have used for political ambitions. Thereby, raising several disputes with Etisalat UAE management.

    PTCL is the only government owned organisation running on profit for the past few years. The difference between PTCL and the rest (Steel Mills, PIA and Railways) is the management team that has managed to keep PTCL running and competitive despite severe hurdles in 2008 while other government owned organisations incur losses and are a huge burden on the country PTCL remains positive. Privatization is the way forward for this country.

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  • Mar 14, 2012 - 5:16AM

    I disagree with most of this article. PTCL may have been more profitable earlier, but it is a considerable stretch of the truth to say it was a leading telecom player in Asia. Linesmen from PTCL may have been helped lay networks in other countries, but that is by no measure technically challenging — Pakistan exports cheap labour.

    If the Government had continued to hold on to PTCL, there was no way GoP could ever have spared the funds for an overseas acquisition given our chunky defence budget. Nor did PTCL ever have financial strength to raise the funds needed from the market. Besides Pakistan’s banks don’t even have that kind of financing capability.

    PTCL was not in the same league as Asia’s leading telecom providers like SingTel, DoCoMo, China Mobile, Bharti Airtel, etc. Pakistan sold a 26% stake to Etisalat for $2.59 billion valuing PTCL at almost $10 billion, which was over 30x earnings. Look at P/E ratios of major telecom providers and you’ll see Etisalat vastly overpaid for the stake. The next highest bid was $1.4 billion; $1.2 billion less that Etisalat’s bid. Etisalat has realized its folly and has since been inventing excuses to not cough up the remaining $800 million. Not only did Pakistan do right to sell, it sold at a perfect time when mobile phone companies had reached peak valuations. Telecom has now become a razor thin margin business and valuations have fallen across the world. What Pakistan needs is more suckers like Etisalat for our remaining state “jewels”.

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  • H chaudhry
    Mar 14, 2012 - 8:18AM

    @Ali not sure what you are getting at, but my point is Government is by its very nature can not run a business period. Government should just worry about setting an economic policy that ensures business growth. If Business don’t perform it exits and if it performs it makes money. There is no grey area hear ! Who knows how the deal was set but in principle only Free Markets can provide growth. It is entirely different discussion about how and why current capital market breakdown occurred, my opinion Governments didn’t do it’s job of regulation.

    governments running businesses is nothing but destruction !

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  • KH
    Mar 14, 2012 - 9:24AM

    I dont agree with the writer, he has omitted a lot of key factors, just to prove his point.

    People have moved to mobile phones.
    People use VOIP to talk to there releatives abroad.
    Getting a telephone line and cutomer service is way better.
    People didnot leave PTCL or take golden handshakes because they thought PTCL was going down. The company employee strength is 28000 which was 66000.

    PTCL was sold at the right time, since there profits would have descreased with time, and the main reason is the change in the communication industry. And this is a major factor.

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  • gp65
    Mar 14, 2012 - 10:01AM

    @Author “”Few realise that PTCL was, before its privatisation, one of the leading telecom players in Asia. “

    Can you back that up with facts? Which Asian telecom companies are you comparing PTCL with?

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  • Hafeez
    Mar 14, 2012 - 10:06AM

    @ Author! Good piece but I suppose it lacked the depth of analysis. Adding to a comment above by TsunamiLota, i would say that such decisions are based on cost and benefit analysis. And I believe that in terms of cost-benefit analysis, this has been a best of the decisions. Just look at the cellular boom and the employment it has generated. It would not have been possible with a big giant in the market already having the large chunk of market share. For comparison, just look at the oil sector, with a huge public corporation, PSO, in the market, good investors are not interested in putting in value in the oil and gas sector.

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  • Pakistani
    Mar 14, 2012 - 10:09AM

    Well written.

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  • Tanoli
    Mar 14, 2012 - 10:28AM

    An excellent work by Dr. Kamal as always.

    @Chaudhry
    On the one hand, you are praising the free market and, on the other hand, you are asking for regulation of the market which is always opposed by proponents of that system. When you regulate a market then it’s not free. Free market is nothing but destruction. The author has mentioned the names of companies upfront that are being run by Government and are performing very well. Then how government running businesses is destruction?

    Moreover, government running the businesses is not a new phenomena because public utilities always had been the purview of government, but keeping govt out of business and promoting a laissez-faire economy is relatively a new phenomena propagated by Milton Friedman & Co that has proven devastating.

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  • Anjum Amin Siddiqui
    Mar 14, 2012 - 10:29AM

    @Timorov:
    Why should he come to Pakistan waste his time & energy. We the Pakistanies are hypocrates and love the non-system in which we live. We dont deserve good, intelligent people.

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  • Rizwan
    Mar 14, 2012 - 10:31AM

    We should Thank God it was Privatized ,other wise Government would have run it in the same manner as it is running Pakistan Railways -Pakistan Steel and PIA .We would have been with out internet and phone for ever .

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  • yasir
    Mar 14, 2012 - 10:48AM

    it is very sad to mention that the privitization of ptcl is the biggest finanacail scandal and it must be reservsed in the best interest of the country otherwise our soveriengnity and defence is exposed to the enemies of Pakistan.

    Also the reputation of the Arab Baduins is quite notorious as they carried out the human resource (HR) insults in a very brave and vehement way.

    No investment was flown in as the result of the PTCL privitization to national exchequer and themoney of this poor nation is going into the baks of UAE where our mean and malicious leaerds, politicians, army general are having nice day and nights of thier livies.

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  • soniya
    Mar 14, 2012 - 11:17AM

    very informative and well explained. thankyou sir.

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  • pfaraz
    Mar 14, 2012 - 11:18AM

    well on a brighter side, at-least there is one less SOE (State Owned Enterprise) to be funded by public money..

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  • jasmine
    Mar 14, 2012 - 12:05PM

    I guess the author has been “living abroad” and had no idea of the on ground realities. Or maybe the writer never really used a PTCL phone line. Lets be honest , even after privatization the company is barely walking. The problem is not the technical expertise it is the plain and simple fact that you cannot FIRE anyone form a state owned institution, if you do you head the KESC way , strikes and all.

    Unfortunately Mr. writer we’ve been living in this country and as per your thesis we should have highly successful institutions such as Pakistan Steel, Pakistan Railways etc etc etc. but that might not happen anywhere but in theory.

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  • M.Irshad Jan
    Mar 14, 2012 - 12:30PM

    Not a good assessment. Revenues declined because of excessive cut in mobile phone charges & phenomenal growth of cell phone usage. The company’s major shareholder remains the governm,ent at 62%.

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  • Usman
    Mar 14, 2012 - 1:13PM

    Crap article… If it would be in government control it must have gone in loss by now & tax payers would be used to finance PTCL

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  • Usman
    Mar 14, 2012 - 1:21PM

    Author didn’t mention the effect of the emergence of new players. Before privitization, PTCL had monomply in the market and was charging very high tarrfis. PTCL’s services for the customers have improved considerably. Ufone is owned by PTCL, which is also doing well.
    Many of fixed line customers have moved to Vfone (or other WLL) or mobile companies, so the decrease in revenues and profit margins is understandable.

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  • Shakeel Jajja
    Mar 14, 2012 - 1:21PM

    As awesome as yourself!

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  • Atif
    Mar 14, 2012 - 1:28PM

    Rather superficial analysis. Doesnt account for the tax holiday that PTCL enjoyed prior to its privatization or the collapse in international dialling tariffs across the world which have hurt all fixed line operators or the fact that PTCL was one of the least efficient telecom operators in the world based on various measures including employees per line. Yes, more was expected from the new owners but that doesnt mean that this was some sort of gem.

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  • Abdul Aleem
    Mar 14, 2012 - 1:56PM

    @Author. Although the facts given in your article are correct, however, you are forgetting the main point. i.e. before privatisation, PTCL had absolute monopoly in pakistani market. Subscribers were paying hefty charges for local and long distance calls. Few years before privatisation, even mobile operators were forced to use PTCL’s network and pay them.

    You must not forget that all that profit, you just mentioned, was due to very HIGH CALLING rates, a price which was paid by the people of pakistan. PTCL was only good because of endless protections given to it by the regulators. We all know the state of affirs before privatisation, where we had to bribe the lineman for keeping our line in working condition…

    This article is a very good example that if numbers are presented in a different way, it can create an entirely opposite picture.

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  • PakiKaka
    Mar 14, 2012 - 2:07PM

    @H Chaudhry:
    Free market!!!
    I think you have not heard of the pehnomenon known as the Global Financial Crisis of 2008… Or maybe you’re just related to shortcut aziz

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  • Zeeshan H
    Mar 14, 2012 - 2:48PM

    +100 for TsunamiLota’s comment!

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  • usman
    Mar 14, 2012 - 2:53PM

    Nice work done along with all the relevant facts and figures…
    No doubt before privatization PTCL was one of the largest Revenue generator of the country and leading telecom industry in the region…..
    but unfortunately our gov. is not paying any attention and nothing is expected in near future…

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  • Xim
    Mar 14, 2012 - 3:48PM

    I have worked in the industry for over 11 years and I can’t disagree more with author’s analysis. I am surprised that such a biased and factually incorrect analysis was posted to drive home the point that SOEs are better run.

    Some of the comments have accurately pointed out that the article is superficial in analysis and the author has cherry picked the facts. The fact that PTCL was holding back the broadband industry before 2004, the tax holiday, the collapse of IDD rates and the introduction of mobile phone companies would have had PTCL on its knees if it were still state run.

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  • ZYX
    Mar 14, 2012 - 5:20PM

    The UAE doesn’t care about any “brotherly relationship” with Pakistan…they only use us when they need us with Sheikh Zayed being of the few men who stood apart. They do give charity to Pakistan but we wouldn’t need it if they dealt fairly with us in such transactions. FDI and the selling of national assets to foreigners is a criminally insane policy to begin with.

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  • Danish R. Syed
    Mar 14, 2012 - 5:26PM

    Mr. Kamal has written an excellent article about PTCL however one thing that I Believed was missing was a true comparison… what he should have done was not compare to regional companies but other state owned companies that were once profitable, and only better if not the same as PTCL.

    PIA was an even better example, but (not to be political at all) we have seen that whenever a democratic govt takes over it rewards its workers by getting them hired in govt institutions, PIA, PTCL Pakistan Steel (has been lucky in this regard due to its location to some extent) to name the few.

    I believe if someone can evaluate the performance within the country between other institutions that would provide a fair comparison.

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  • salim
    Mar 14, 2012 - 5:51PM

    My experience is that service of PTCL has considerably improved after privitisation.

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  • Ussama Yaqub
    Mar 14, 2012 - 5:52PM

    I think the author has disregarded the fact that since 2005, Pakistani telecom market has grown far more competitive. Fixed line operators have a hard time competing with wireless where there is little maintenance cost. If PTCL was under government control it would have met the same fate which befell other state owned enterprises. In a society where nepotism is rife it would have been only a matter of time before cronies and blue eyed boys of the ruling regime called the shots at PTCL. Today PTCL is profitable non-the-less, competing in a far more competitive market then PIA, Pak Steel, Railways etc. GoP should concentrate on getting these white elephants privatized rather than debating earlier privatization decisions.

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  • Ussama Yaqub
    Mar 14, 2012 - 6:20PM

    And than there is the fact that the purpose of any state owned business is to provide cheap service/commodity to consumer. I still remember the days way back in 90s when a 3 min call to Islamabad from Lahore would cost 20-25 rupees. Today I can call anywhere in Pakistan for 50 paisa per min. While cost of every other commodity in Pakistan is rising at an exponential pace, here is a service where price is constantly declining enabling the poor masses to communicate. Has GoP’s telecommunication policy been successful? HELL YES!! What good is an enterprise, public or private, where consumers are fleeced for profits? Today PIA is charging Rs 30k for a return ticket from Karachi to Islamabad, even if profitable (which PIA is not by the way), the purpose of the organization is lost as the consumers are being robbed out of their hard earned money while competitors are not being allowed to compete in the name of “National Interest”.
    Its no use whipping a dead horse, Milton Friedman once aptly put it “If you put a federal government in charge of a desert, there will be a shortage of sand in 5 years.”

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  • Nadir
    Mar 14, 2012 - 6:38PM

    Every current developed country “developed” on the back of state financed, managed and protected capitalism. Privitisation has failed badly in rich countries where oligopolies have formed and inefficiencies persist. China is another example of state backed organizations. The question is not of whether the government should or should not be involved, as public companies can be structured to act as both a seperate part off, or inclusive part of government. That is a choice we have to make.

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  • DevilHunterX
    Mar 14, 2012 - 7:16PM

    PTCL before privatisation:

    1) Overcharging, under delivering. e.g. being charged for new call every 3 minutes.

    2) no competition

    3) mobile phone too expensive

    4) Bad customer service

    5) Monopoly

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  • Mar 14, 2012 - 8:02PM

    Sir ! i am also working in a company which has been privatiesed recently.
    everything is getting better here.
    iff , your statistics are 100% correct (which i doubt), even then , be
    patient. its a huge company. it would definitely start generating profits in the long run.
    look at PIA , RAILWAYS , DESCO’S !!! come on . every single government sector is pathetic. (almost ).

    Reason : reference based hiring ,no motivation , bribery , no personal interest for betterment.

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  • 110
    Mar 14, 2012 - 8:21PM

    DSL,Smart Tv,Evo,Cheap call rates,much better customer support all this you got after the privatisation.

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  • Ali Khan
    Mar 14, 2012 - 9:03PM

    Thanks to all these comments now I know how well PTCL is really doing! DSL, Evo etc etc after privatization. Wow! Maybe I’ll go buy some shares. Oh wait! the shares have lost nearly all their value under this management! Why would that be the case? The hallowed market does not believe that these guys can do anything with the assets they’ve bought! The market has spoken all you market zombies! Listen to it! PTCL is going anywhere but up! And as for it all being competition’s fault, I wonder why other companies are not making this excuse! And look at Ufone’s performance pre-privatization and post! When was it actually doing better? That’s right, pre-privatization – there was competition then too!!!!

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  • Usman
    Mar 15, 2012 - 12:03PM

    @Usman:

    there is no considerable affect of the telecom operators wmerging in the market.

    .
    Even today the place of the ptcl land line number at the homes is same which was about ten to fiften years back.

    Mobile have found thier new place which is the pocket and purse of the subscribers.

    there faulkt lies with the top management that the situation was not falling in thier conciousness and it was not the game of the Arabs to handle the managemnt in the country like Pakistan.

    It is all due to the failure of top management inability to grasp the intensity of the events.

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  • Usman
    Mar 15, 2012 - 12:15PM

    @yousaf:

    Becuase of the new management which was incompitent and unable to understand the telecom buisiness and they used human capital in a very ruthless and cruel way in w typical slavery style.

    It dishearted many tallented people who left this company , even left pakistan also.

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  • Mohammad
    Mar 15, 2012 - 2:35PM

    I don’t think that we would ever get 50mbps internet speed if it was not sold to Etisalat..even 1MB.

    Look at the services of PTCL, they have introduced amazing services which were the dream of a Pakistani.

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  • Mar 15, 2012 - 10:45PM

    PTCL lost its monopoly. this is the main reason of fall in revenue and after tax profit. you can’t say quality has fallen although in some areas it may be the case but not in all areas of it’s service. today you can get new connection in hours while in the past it would have taken months if not years.

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  • Azeem
    Mar 16, 2012 - 3:04PM

    A fact that is unfortunately true !!
    Well written Dr Kamal ..

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  • Tom Richards
    Mar 17, 2012 - 7:12PM

    Couple of points –

    This article is biased and maybe politically motivated.
    Yes PTCL should be state owned. But only under the leadership of individuals such as Lee Kuan Yu or Mahathir. PTCL was the incumbent telco player and post deregjlation of the industry it would have been backrupt if owned by the govrnment. Yes Etisalat has not done a good job and maybe Singtel would have done better considering their stellar track record. but i can assure u that if it was statae owned, ptcl would have had nearly 100,000 employees with significant level of corruption at the equipment procurement level. ufone would have been the #5 player. i wont say more – pls look at the state if PSO and Steel Mklls. all the corruption has led to bankruptcy. We should have sold PSM to the Russians and PSO to one of the global strategics.

    Government is now pumping in billions of rupees to give oxygen to these sleeping giants.

    Just think about it – we wojld have never faced the circular debt issue if the discos were privatized. Its a disaster now. we dont have any credibility now. look at the bankjng sector – 85% in private hands. the sector is booming with massive growth potential. except BOP and NBP which are govt owned.

    find a good leader as stated above and pricatise all our assets. or thrn these companies around and sell them at significant valuation.

    i can sit down with you and Imran Khan to set out the the privatisation strategy. Both KESC and PTCL were good transactions but the SPA was poorly structured. no doubt about that. It was a face issue for the government to not reject a US$2.6BN transaction in the case of PTCL.

    I am very patriotic and the above is just the beginning to what i have to say. i am very bitter now on how things are panning out in corporate pakistan. businessme. and entrepeeneurs who believe in rolling out governance within their institution aee either thrsayened or victims of extortion. They r all moving out and looking to invsst offshore. asad umer; mansha; naeem mukhtar and tabba are visionaries. Dont stop them from becoming global corporatio.s. let them shine and make us proud like jahangir khan; sharmeen obaid; imran khan etc.

    goodluck Pakistan. May our next leader and HIS TEAM can do the trick for us.

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  • Farooq
    Apr 2, 2012 - 3:55PM

    Well done Mr. Kamal you have exposed very few areas of PTCL. The current PTCL Management has hacked the department. PTCL is now a sinking ship. The always dishonored the Supreme Cout Decisions. The regular employees of PTCL have been badly supressed and oppressed by the hypocratic Managment.

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  • usman
    Apr 2, 2012 - 6:32PM

    @Farooq:

    it is well said and truth that how the ptcl was ruined and destroyed by the criminal minded top management. and thye leave the no stone unturned for the sake of thier comfort and extravaganza but for the employees especially the regulars, they have very bitter and cruel policies.

    May Allah help us get rid of these characters in our PTCL. Recommend

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