Etisalat to Pay $800 mln to Pakistan by March

Government of Pakistan expects to receive as much as US$800 million by the end of March in delayed payments from Etisalat over its 2006 purchase of a stake in the country’s largest telecommunications company, reported various national and international papers.

Etisalat had agreed to pay the government $2.6bn in instalments for its 26 per cent stake in Pakistan Telecommunication Corp Ltd (PTCL).

But the Etisalat then withheld part of the payments for more than a year because of a dispute about the transfer of several properties that Etisalat claims were part of the original share purchase agreement.

“We expect the money in our exchequer by the end of March,” Waqar Ahmed Khan, Pakistan’s minister of privatisation, said in Dubai.

Paper said that Etisalat’s spokesman declined to comment.

Paper said that Pakistani government authorities met Etisalat officials on the sidelines of an investment conference. Mr Khan heads a committee, which includes two other ministers, that was set up to negotiate with Etisalat, paper noted.

“We had a close look at the issue and in the next two days we will have more meetings to work out the mechanics,” he said, adding that the government intended to resolve the issue amicably.

A Pakistan government official last month estimated that the outstanding amount was about $1bn.

Previous coverage of Etisalat and GoP dispute

Via Dawn and The National

Tech and telecom reporter with over 15 years of experience, he works as founder of ProPakistani.PK