Etisalat Assures Pakistan for Release of US $ 800 Million

Pakistan’s delegation has been assured for the release of US $ 800 million till end of financial year 2011-12 by the Etisalat administration recently, unveiled Dr. Waqar Masood, Secretary Finance today.

He was briefing Senate Standing Committee on Finance on Tuesday while briefing about the future strategy for economic management without IMF support in the ongoing fiscal year 2011-12.

Dr. Waqar Masood, Secretary Finance and Rehman Malik, Federal Minister on Interior held talks with Etisalat for the expected release of $800 million by the current fiscal year on the account of PTCL privatization’s arrears.

Pakistan government had sold 26 percent of the PTCL shares against handsome revenue of Rs. 2.59 billion in 2005. Government of Pakistan is holding 62 shares and the remaining 12% are owned by the general public as shareholders.

Etisalat paid $ 1.4 billion dollars, while it held US$ 800 million due to property dispute with government of Pakistan. Pakistan is long struggling to get the payment and many deadlines have been missed in this regards.

The telecom sector will help country’s economy to strengthen its position as $800 million privatization proceeds of Pakistan Telecommunication Limited (PTCL) and Rs. 75 billion revenues are likely to come into national exchequer, Secretary Finance added.

Dr. Masood also informed the Senate committee that Pakistan is likely to auction 3G licenses to earn Rs.75 billion for telecommunication companies within this fiscal year.

He termed that arrears and revenues from telecom sector along with anticipated inflow of $2.5 billion from US on the account of Coalition Support Fund would be enough to strengthen country’s economy on the stable position.

Therefore, he added, Pakistan is not keen on seeking a new loan program from IMF at this stage.

Pakistan economy would successfully survive without going for fresh IMF loan program and after payment of $1.2 billion to IMF in ongoing fiscal year, he said.