All state-owned enterprises, except strategic ones, to be privatised: PM

All state-owned enterprises, except strategic ones, to be privatised: PM


Says running businesses isn’t a government job

Follow on
Follow us on Google News

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News/Web Desk) – Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday announced privatisation of all the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) barring those which are strategic in nature and said all the entities would be disposed of notwithstanding being profitable or lossmaking. 

Shehbaz reiterated his stated position that the government was meant to formulate policies friendly to investment and businesses, not to run businesses, while extending facilities and removing the hurdles to provide a smooth playing field. 

Read more: Govt working on retirement, pension reforms

The remarks came as privatisation is one of the main conditions set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its team is currently in Islamabad for talks about the a new assistance programme under which Pakistan hopes to secure a bigger and longer deal – $6 billion to $8 billion over a period of three to four years.

Read more: Talks start to secure IMF programme, agreement reached on budget targets

He was chairing a meeting where the authorities concerned presented the Privatisation Roadmap 2024-29 and briefed him on the progress made in the process.

The sitting was convened to review the affairs related to the Ministry of Privatisation and the Privatisation.

During the briefing, the officials said the prequalification for the PIA privatisation would be completed by the end of current month, adding that consultations were on about disposing of Roosevelt Hotel owned by the national flag carrier and located in New York.

On the other hand, the privatisation of the First Women Bank – established in 1988 during the first tenure of the then prime minister Benazir Bhutto – would be a government-to-government transaction with the United Arab Emirates, they said.

The government currently owns around 80 per cent shares of the First Women Bank while the remaining belongs to different commercial banks.

Meanwhile, the power distribution companies are also on the list while the lossmaking SOEs would be the first to be privatised, said the officials who added that a prequalified panel of experts was being inducted in the Privatisation Commission to run the process swiftly.

Shehbaz said privatisation would helping saving the money of taxpayers which was going to help improve the services.

At the same time, he said transparency must be ensured in the privatisation process and ordered all the federal ministries to carry out the required work and extend full cooperation to the Privatisation Commission.

He also directed the officials to live telecast the bidding process and other stages of PIA privatisation on TV and ensure the same in the case of other SOEs.