Tuesday March 05, 2024

Interim govt promulgates four ordinances agreed with IMF

December 01, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The federal caretaker government on Thursday promulgated four ordinances, the National Highway Authority (Amendment) Ordinance 2023, Pakistan Postal Services Management Board (Amendment) Ordinance 2023, Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (Amendment) Ordinance 2023, and Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (Amendment) Ordinance 2023.

The secretaries of all the ministries concerned briefed the president on the urgency of the ordinances as the matter was agreed upon with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in July this year regarding the four state-owned enterprises (SOEs), according to a Press Information Department news release.

The seal for the International Monetary Fund is seen in Washington, DC, January 10, 2022. — AFP
The seal for the International Monetary Fund is seen in Washington, DC, January 10, 2022. — AFP

The amendments in the laws of the above entities as signed by the president have been made to bring them in conformity with the State Owned Enterprises (Governance and Operations) Act 2023, promulgated in January 2023. The SOEs law has been enacted in order to improve the governance and operations of SOEs for enhancing the quality of service delivery and to bring about fiscal discipline.

“The government is now in the process of extending the provisions of the SOEs law to such entities that are governed by special statutes. This will make their operations efficient and transparent,” the news release said.

“These amendments are a part of the SOE reforms agreed by the Government of Pakistan with the international partners, and are included in the SBA (Standby Agreement) with the IMF as a structural benchmark,” it added.

It said through the new amendments, the offices of the chairman of the board and the chief executive would be separated in all the above named entities to ensure good governance in line with international best practices. Independent members would be inducted in the boards of the entities, who would add fresh ideas and independent expertise in the decision making process.

The security of tenure of independent members wan also ensured.

The amendments would also ensure applicability of other provisions of the SOEs Act, for example regular reporting of entity’s performance to the Central Monitoring Unit (CMU), which has been established in the Ministry of Finance, for performance monitoring of the SOEs; preparation of annual business plans; and preparation and public disclosure reports to better inform the public.

The measures would increase transparency, efficiency and oversight of the entities. The CMU would be regularly report the performance of the entities to the Cabinet Committee on State Owned Enterprises, thereby ensuring much needed visibility of the strengths and weaknesses of the SOEs to the highest forums within the federal government.

“Overall the amendments in the laws of these state owned entities will lead to better governance, service delivery and accountability to the public,” the news release said.