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Finance Ministry, PC to brief NA body on privatisation of public sector entities

Finance Ministry, PC to brief NA body on privatisation of public sector entities

ISLAMABAD: The Finance Ministry and Privatisation Commission (PC) are going to brief the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatisation about the privatisation of public sector entities on cheaper prices.

The government follows a list of the public sector entities (PSEs) approved by the Council of Common Interest (CCI) for privatisation in 1997. The CCI approved 152 PSEs, of which 96 have been privatised. Remaining units were partially privatized and some have been liquidated.

Moreover, in 2006 CCI granted another approval of addition of some other PSEs (27) in the programme. Out of which 18 entities have been privatized and one was transferred, whereas remaining to be privatized. Furthermore, in 2011, CCI granted approval of privatization of Power Sector Entities i.e. DISCOs and GENCOs. Apart from CCI, Cabinet Committee of Privatization (CCoP) has also granted approval of some entities for privatization.

A ministry source said Finance Secretary Dr Waqar Masood Khan and Privatization Commission Secretary Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera would attend the committee’s meeting to be held today (Tuesday) to explain the exact position regarding the public perception.

Dr Waqar Masood Khan is an eminent economist with wide-ranging experience of both public and private sectors.

Similarly, Sukhera has held various offices like deputy commissioner, principal secretary to the Punjab governor, PSO to Punjab chief minister and National School of Public Policy faculty.

The source said that PC since the inception had completed 167 privatisation transactions. Ultimately, PSEs on the list for privatisation included National Investment Trust Limited (NITL), Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Bank, Allied Bank Limited (ABL), First Women Bank Ltd (FWBL), United Bank Limited (UBL), Habib Bank Limited (HBL), National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), National Insurance Company (NIC), Pakistan Reinsurance Company (PRC), State Life Insurance Corporation (SLIC) and House Building Finance Corporation (HBFC).

Similarly PSEs including Oil and Gas Development Corporation Ltd. (OGDCL), Pak Arab Refinery Limited (PARL), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), Pakistan State Oil Company Limited (PSO), Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL), Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGC), Mari Petroleum Limited (MPL), Government Holding Privet Limited (GHPL), National Power Construction Company (NPCC), Islamabad Electric Supply Company Limited (IESCO), Faisalabad Electric Supply Company Limited (FESCO), Lahore Electric Supply Company Limited (LESCO), Gujranwala Electric Power Company Limited (GEPCO), Multan Electric Power Company Limited (MEPCO), Peshawar Electric Supply Company Limited (PESCO), Hyderabad Electric Supply Company Limited (HESCO), Quetta Electric Supply Company Limited (QESCO), Sukkur Electric Power Company (SEPCO), Kot Addu Power Company (KAPCO), Jamshoro Power Generation Company Ltd – JPCL (GENCO- I), Central Power Generation Company Ltd – CPGCL (GENCO – II), Northern Power Generation Company Ltd – NPGCL (GENCO – III), ma Lakhra Power Generation Company Ltd were on the privatisation list from oil, gas and energy sector.

The source said that National Fertiliser Corporation and its units and subsidiaries was only one PSE on privatisation list from Fertiliser sector, however, PSEs including State Engineering Corporation and its units and subsidiaries, Pakistan Engineering Company (PECO), Pakistan Machine Tool Factory (PMTF), Sindh Engineering Limited (SEL), Heavy Electrical Complex (HEC), National Construction Limited (NCL), Pakistan Steel Mills Corporation & its units, Pakistan Steel Fabricating Company Ltd, Minerals and Natural Resources, Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC), Lakhra Coal Mines (now Lakhra Coal Development Company) and Sandak Development Corporation (SDC) were on privatization list from engineering sector from automobile sector PSEs on the privatization list included Morafco Industries (Machinery as in where is basis), and Republic Motors Limited (RML) while from infrastructure sector PSEs namely Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Port Qasim Authority (PQA), Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and National Highway Authority (NHA) as well as from transport sector PSEs like Pakistan International Airlines Corporation (PIAC), Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) and Pakistan Railways & its allied facilities, factories, workshops were on the privatisation list.

The source said that Services International Hotel, Lahore, PIA-IL (Roosevelt Hotel, NY & Scribe Hotel, Paris) and Telephone Industries of Pakistan, Haripur (TIP) were on the privatization list from Tourism and Telecom sectors respectively while Printing Corporation of Pakistan (PCP) and National Book Foundation (NBF) hail from others category, however, Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation and its units (PIDC), Utility Store Corporation and stores (USC), Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), Cotton Export Corporation of Pakistan, Rice Export Corporation of Pakistan, Export Processing Zone Authority, Pakistan Industrial and Technical Training Centre, Convention Centre, Islamabad and Shalimar Recording Company belonged from Corporations & other sectors.

“Out of the broad-based privatization programmed, the Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCoP) in its meeting held in October, 2013 approved a list of 32 Public Sector Enterprises for early privatization,” the source said.

The source said that Parliamentary Leader of Jamaat-e-Islami in the National Assembly Sahibzada Tariqullah on a point of order highlighted the point in the previous 16th session in the House that there was public perception that government was intending to privatise SOEs on far cheaper prices than the actual.

“The speaker referred towards the standing committee for further discussion as well as to seek explanation from the concerned ministries, including Finance Ministry and Privatization Commission (PC),” the source added.

Similarly, the source said that committee would also discuss the issue of stoppage of facility of loans and credits cards by all the financial institutions including banks to the people living in Swat. Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) Parliamentary Leader in the National Assembly Mehmood Khan Achakzai had also raised this issue on a point of order in the previous session and Speaker referred the issue towards the standing committee for further discussion.

“However, this issue will be referred to the sub-committee headed by MNA Danyal Aziz for further discussion,” a source in the National Assembly Committee branch said, adding that officials concerned of the House Building Finance Corporation (HBFC) would also brief the committee about functioning and performance of the corporation.