ISLAMABAD: The government has directed the Privatisation Commission (PC) to speed up the establishment of Benazir Employees Stock Option Scheme (BESOS) trusts in order to empower the employees of state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
The workers of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), Habib Bank Limited (HBL) and Industrial Development Bank of Pakistan (IDBP) are due to receive 12 per cent of government shares in these enterprises for free under BESOS soon.
To date, 39 BESOS trusts have been registered. Shares of 27 SOEs have been distributed among 69,644 employees while the BESOS trusts have been registered in entities having a total of 94,778 employees. Under this scheme, 500,000 workers of more than 80 SOEs will receive the shares and dividends.
The establishment of the BESOS trust in Pakistan Steel Mills Corporation (PSMC) and Pakistan Steel Fabrication (PSF) is in final stages while trusts in the remaining organisations are under process.
The scheme was launched on August 14, 2009 to empower the workers of SOEs through free distribution of unit certificates equivalent to a total of 12 per cent government shares. It ensures their participation in decision-making by having one of their nominees on the companies’ board of directors. The employees will also be eligible to get regular dividends.
An amount of Rs1.613 billion has been disbursed amongst 16,044 employees of seven enterprises while the PC has received Rs1.452 billion in its revolving fund. These companies include Oil & Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), Pakistan State Oil (PSO), Mari Gas, Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC), Lakhra Coal and Development Company and National Insurance Company Limited.
A total of 230 employees from four enterprises, namely OGDCL, PPL, PNSC and PSO, are also due to be awarded compensation claims worth Rs1.104 billion. The claims are currently under the process of verification and audit. The representation of employees on the board of directors of their respective SOEs is also in progress.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2010.