ISLAMABAD: State Minister for Privatisation Muhammad Zubair has clarified that the government is not privatising the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL).
He said the government would disinvest the OGDCL’s 7.5 per cent shares to generate money that is needed for the country. He further said that neither the company would be privatised nor a single employ would be expelled.
The State Minister for Privatisation said that the government was only going for the capital market transaction of the company by disinvesting its 7.5 per cent shares, which had already been done in the past.
However, Zubair admitted that it was not a suitable time for disinvesting the OGDCL shares, as share value was not as high as it was in September this year. But at the same time he said, “We do not have any surety that OGDCL’s shares price will not further reduce in future.”
The government had delayed the process of disinvesting OGDCL shares due to the sit-ins of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and stay order issued by Peshawar High Court. The sits-ins would reduce the expected revenue to be generated through OGDCL’s capital market transaction, as it might generate $700 million to $750 million against the earlier expectation of over $800 million. Similarly, the declining oil prices in international market are also one of the reasons behind the lower revenue to be generated from OGDCL capital market transaction.
Zubair said that country needed capital inflows to build its foreign exchange reserves. The IMF’s tranches worth of $1.1 billion were attached with the auction of Sukuk bond and capital market transaction of OGDCL shares, he added.
He also claimed that government was expecting to generate $1.2 billion by disinvesting the shares of Habib Bank Limited (HBL), which was expected to be completed in March next year. Meanwhile, the shares of Allied Bank Limited (ABL) would be disinvested in December this year, he added.