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September 14, 2019

Govt fires up process to sell 17 SOEs


September 14, 2019

KARACHI: The government has launched an ambitious programme for the privatisation of 17 public sector entities and sale of 32 real estate properties of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) on the directions of Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCOP), a minister said on Friday.

“We are providing level-playing field to all the potential investors to complete for the purchase of entities and or purchase of shares of the entities on the capital market through the privatisation process,” said Muhammadmian Soomro, Federal Minister and Chairman Privatisation Commission, chairing a high-level meeting.

“This will also strengthen the capital market of Pakistan and above all it will attract both the local as well as foreign investors.”

The interactive session was attended by a large number of prospective financial advisers, members of major financial institutions, banks, asset management companies, and representatives of the brokerage houses.

Soomro said the government was focusing on privatisation under the directions of the Prime Minister and pursuant to the privatisation law to substantially minimise losses to the public exchequer.

The minister added that according to the statutory framework, the requisite extensive consultations with concerned ministries and relevant stakeholders’ pre-requisite approvals were being taken from the Council of Common Interest (CCI), Board of Privatisation Commission, and CCOP. This extensive process ensures successful financial closure of privatisation transactions as envisaged under the law, Soomro said.

He mentioned that some of the entities, already in the active privatisation program list, included Haveli Bahadur Shah and Balloki power plants, shares of Mari Petroleum, SME etc as approved by the CCOP, while more entities i.e. Pakistan Petroleum, Heavy Electric Complex, Sindh Engineering Board, Oil and Gas Development Company, Guddu and Nandipur Power plants, and House Building Finance Company have also been added to the programme.

The privatisation minister further emphasised that in accordance with the vision of the Prime Minister to eradicate corruption and to bring efficiency in the SOEs, transparency and fairness were given foremost importance in the privatisation process. He said that this meeting was a part of the efforts to interact with the stakeholders and to ensure their maximum participation.

Soomro also highlighted the commission was in the process to engage services of eminent professionals for efficiency enhancement, while the rules and regulations were also being revised in order to make them investor-friendly and help reduce the time frame in privatisation processes, pursuant to the legal framework .

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