Friday May 24, 2024

PM Shehbaz announces privatisation of all SOEs apart from strategic ones

PM says all the enterprises, whether profitable or loss-making, will be privatised

By Web Desk
May 14, 2024

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday broadened the government's privatisation plan as he announced to make all the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) private with the exception of strategic entities. 

The announcement came after PM Shehbaz chaired a review meeting on matters related to Ministry of Privatisation and Privatisation Commission in Islamabad today. 

A day earlier, Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) began talks on the new long-term programme under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). 

The premier said that all the enterprises, whether profitable or loss-making, will be privatised except for the strategic SOEs. He directed the federal ministers to take action and cooperate with the Privatisation Commission, saying that the process should be transparent.

PM Shehbaz said that the government's job is not to do business but to ensure a business and investment friendly environment.

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

During the meeting, the ministry presented a roadmap of Privatisation Program 2024-2029. It was informed about the privatisation progress of the SOEs and that the pre-qualification process for PIA privatisation to be completed by the end of this month.

The meeting was also informed that the loss-making companies should be privatised on a priority basis and that a pre-qualified panel of experts is being appointed in Privatisation Commission to speed up process.

Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar, while presiding over a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation, reportedly prioritised the privatisation of loss-making SOEs.

However, on Sunday, while addressing a conference Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb, stressed the need to move towards privatisation linking it with the country's economic stability.

"You have to move towards privatisation if you want economic stability in the country," Aurangzeb said while speaking at the Pre-Budget Conference 2024-25 in Lahore.