The Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) was transferred ownership of more than 3,000 publicly owned properties that it could not sell or use for any purpose other than providing telecom services to the customers, reported Abrar Mustafa in ‘The News’ today.
Citing sources in the Ministry of IT & T, Abrar Mustafa said that the Government of Pakistan had agreed to transfer the ownership of these properties to PTCL under the privatization agreement but the provincial and local governments were creating hurdles. These are now being removed and the process has been completed.
These sources said that there were 3,400 real estate assets in the shape of lands and buildings that were given to PTCL by the state and about 200 of such properties were gifted to it by common people. 157 such assets are from the pre-independence days.
At the time of privatization it was agreed between Etisalat, the successful bidder, and the Government of Pakistan that the management will be transferred rights of ownership of these properties by March 2008. But there were problems in the process which were finally removed by March 2009 when almost 3,000 such transfers were managed. There are disputes over 157 properties and 163 belong to common citizens of Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the PTCL management has stopped payment of three installments amounting to Rs400 million. A PTCL spokesman when approached said that PTCL was cooperating with the government and working for the betterment of telecom services in the country. He said that the process of transfer of ownership was underway and any issue in this regard will be resolved soon. The PTCL is in touch with the Privatization Commission and the governments of Sindh and Punjab where majority of such assets are located.