Feb 20, 2020: Active privatization of PSEs is one of the core components of government’s economic reforms agenda. This will enable the country for retiring debts and also contribute towards poverty alleviation. Mohammedmian Soomro, Federal Minister Privatization has articulated and ensured the realization of PM’s economic reforms in a transparent manner.
He has reiterated time and again, that privatization of PSEs is to be undertaken in strict compliance of PC Ordinance 2000, PPRA rules and court decisions, considering the regulatory and due diligence processes involved. The gestation period for an entity to be privatized ranges from a year to one and a half year.
The Standing Committee on Privatization of the National Assembly in its meeting considered few amendments in Privatization Commission Ordinance2000, these amendments are necessary for swiftly pursuing active privatization plan. The proposed amendments empowered Prime Minister to appoint chairman, secretary or any board member. The Prime Minister may appoint special medical board to determine health of chairman, secretary or any board member of PC and, lastly the Privatization Commission may be able to open accounts in any of high credit rating banks. In the meeting it was suggested that due to the urgency of work it (PC) should be allowed to open its account(s) in any of the high credit rating banks, identified by the State Bank of Pakistan.
The proposed amendments will facilitate Privatization Commission to swiftly meet the deadline and eschew unnecessary delay. The Standing Committee on Privatization approved the subject amendments, and these will go forth for the approval of National Assembly.
The Standing Committee also discussed the leasing of Roosevelt Hotel owned by PIA in New York. It was proposed by the Chairman of Standing Committee, that the all stakeholders and senior officials from PIA, Aviation Division, M/o Privatization and members from PIA subsidiary investment company to be present in the next meeting of the NA standing committee to brief and discuss the status of Roosevelt Hotel in detail. It is pertinent to mention that Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCoP) in its meeting on November15, 2019 had approved the formulation of the Task Force for business plan of the Roosevelt Hotel and also formulation of terms of reference (ToRs) to that effect, and the same was ratified by the Federal Cabinet on December 03, 2019. However, further work on this task is halted due to the absence of CEO of PIA and pending litigation.
Later on Minister Privatization Mohammedmian Soomro talking to media said, that the final bidding for two RLNG power plants will be held in April this year. He further said that eighteen PSEs will be privatized and financial advisors (Fas) for sixteen of those are already hired or in final stages. For the revival of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM), he informed that Financial Advisors will be appointed soon; he highlighted it is a welcoming sign that various investment parties from China, Japan and Russia have expressed their interest for JV mode revival of PSM. Chairman PC further said that PC is actively pursuing the privatization plan and we are hopeful that by June this year at least five entities will be privatized.
The government has identified eighteen entities from energy, banking, industrial and real estate sectors to be privatized on priority basis fulfilling all legal requirements in the best interest of indigenous economy, added the Minister.