Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif Announces Privatisation Of All State-Owned Enterprises Other Than Strategically Important Entities

Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif Announces Privatisation Of All State-Owned Enterprises Other Than Strategically Important Entities

PM Shehbaz said "the government had nothing to do with running the businesses but was mandated to facilitate the investors."

ANIUpdated: Tuesday, May 14, 2024, 02:41 PM IST
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Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif | Photo: PTI

Islamabad: Amid the staggering economic crisis in the country, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday announced to privatise all state-owned enterprises except for strategically important entities, ARY News reported.

Chairing a review meeting on matters related to the Ministry of Privatization and Privatization Commission in Islamabad, the prime minister said "apart from strategic state-owned enterprises, all other enterprises, whether profitable or loss-making, will be privatised."

In the meeting, the privatisation ministry and the Privatisation Commission presented a roadmap for the Privatisation Program 2024-29, ARY News reported.

PM Shehbaz said "the government had nothing to do with running the businesses but was mandated to facilitate the investors."

He viewed that the privatisation of SOEs would save the taxpayers' money to help the government provide quality services to the people.

"Government's job is not to do business but to ensure a business and investment-friendly environment," the premier said, ARY News reported.

PM Shehbaz Sharif also directed all federal ministries to take necessary action in this regard and cooperate with the Privatization Commission.

Direction Issues For Live Telecast Of Privatisation Of Pakistan International Airlines Company

He directed to live telecast of Pakistan International Airlines Company Limited's (PIA) privatisation including bidding and other important steps. The process of privatisation of other institutions will also be broadcast live.

ARY News reported that the meeting was informed about the progress made so far for the privatization of state-owned enterprises. It was informed that the pre-qualification process for PIA privatization is to be completed by the end of this month. The meeting was told that the privatisation of power distribution companies has been included in the privatisation program 2024-2029.

It was informed that loss-making state-owned enterprises are to be privatized on a priority basis and that a pre-qualified panel of experts is being appointed in the privatization commission to speed up the privatization process.

Ministers In Attendance

The meeting was attended by federal ministers Khawaja Asif, Muhammad Aurangzeb, Jam Kamal Khan, Awais Ahmed Leghari, Abdul Aleem Khan, Musaddik Malik and Ahad Khan Cheema, PM's Coordinator Rana Ehsan Afzal, and relevant senior officers.

A day earlier, Federal Minister for Finance Muhammad Aurangzeb had directed all concerned ministries and divisions to submit proposals for the categorisation of their respective State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) by May 20. The categorisation is a part of a comprehensive review of the rationale for retaining commercial functions within the public sector, according to a press release issued by the finance ministry.

The Central Monitoring Unit of the Finance Division presented its ongoing work on the compilation of the Federal SOE Annual Financial Report for fiscal year 2023. The DG CMU informed the meeting that the data of all commercial entities has been obtained & collated, while the analytical work was currently underway.

The committee was briefed on the highlights of the performance of SOEs during the reporting period. The minister noted that there were a number of gaps in the governance and financial management of companies that needed to be addressed immediately and directed that the vacancies on the BOD's should be filled without delay, ARY News reported.

Last Friday, the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCOP) approved 24 state-owned enterprises for the privatisation programme, directing the privatisation ministry to deliberate the phasing of each entity in consultation with the respective ministries.

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