Finance minister briefed on privatisation

Commission allowed to nominate one board member for each SOE.

July 24, 2013
The Finance minister was briefed about various stages of the privatisation process and timelines. PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance Muhammad Ishaq Dar on Wednesday said the privatisation of state owned entities (SOEs) would be carried out transparently in accordance with the rules and regulations.

Dar was addressing officials from the Privatisation Commission Pakistan, who had invited the finance minister to brief him on the progress of privatisation schemes in the country. The minister said privatisation was the top most priority of the government. Dar emphasised that there will be no compromise on the transparency of the privatisation process.

The Privatisation Commission proposed that the commission be allowed to nominate a member for the board of directors for each SOE to be privatised, which was accepted by the finance minister.

The minister was briefed about various stages of the privatisation process and timelines. Secretary Privatisation Commission Amjad Ali Khan briefed the finance minister on the progress made so far in the transfer of properties to the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL). The finance minister had previously directed the Secretary Privatisation Commission to resolve the issue of transfer of properties to PTCL from Etisalat, the company buying PTCL, in order to receive the recoverable amount of $800 million from Eitisalat.

The finance minister directed the commission to identify state owned entities that can be privatised immediately to start the process.

He advised the Privatisation Commission to review the schedule to make it realistic and ensure that it is carried out on a fast track basis.

The secretary informed the minister that 64 state owned enterprises, approved for privatisation by the previous government, had yet to be privatised.

Senior officials of the Ministry of Finance and Privatisation Commission also attend the meeting.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2013.

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