Sit-ins will stall OGDCL privatisation: Zubair

PC chairman says goals unachievable amid current crisis.

Our Correspondent August 22, 2014

LAHORE: The ongoing protests have created serious problems for the government. Ministers have admitted that some of their economic targets might be delayed or missed, especially the upcoming privatisation process of Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL).

Privatisation Commission Chairman and minister of state Mohammad Zubair, while speaking on the inaugural session of Asian Leadership and Human Resource Management Summit, explained the consequences of the week-long sit-ins that have halted all economic activity.

“Our targets have been terribly affected by the sit-ins. The most worrying aspect is how to convince international investors for the sale of OGDCL shares in the London Stock Exchange,” he said.

“Pakistan has been doing well internationally, which is proven by the fact that world’s biggest equities participated in the privatisation of UBL shares.”

He said protests are the democratic right of the opposition but the manner in which they have been staged have not augured well for the economic progress of the country. “Problems should be resolved with talks and dialogues as aggression and violence have never been a solution to any problem,” said Zubair.

Speaking on the topic ‘Knowledge Economy – The Engine of Growth’, Zubair said that successive governments were responsible for poor performance in the education sector.

“The level of education was far better at the time of partition. Latter governments ignored it and gradually, less and less were spent on education and health sector. Pakistan is the fifth largest nuclear army of the world. It is a choice, either we spend on missiles and nuclear assets or we spend on education and develop a world-class education system. Recently though, the government has started investing in people too,” he added.

Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) Vice Chancellor Dr. Sohail Naqvi, on the occasion stated that the human resource development of the state was in a weak position and top academic institutions should focus on producing the best possible manpower in the Human Resource Management (HRM) sector.

Siemens Pakistan CEO Guenter Zwickl announced expansion of their business in the country. “Technology is technology, but it’s all about people. Our mission is to reach out to every industry and field in Pakistan,” he said.

Google Inc. Country Consultant Pakistan Badar Khushnood, while sharing his experience of the Silicon Valley, stressed on new ideas of learning and advised everyone present to search online and find special courses, which they think would prove beneficial to them.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd, 2014.

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