Government of Pakistan has made all possible efforts to recover $800 million from Etisalat against the partial sale of PTCL in 2005-06, but all attempts, incentives or even threats remained unfruitful.
The government is struggling for this badly needed $800 million for over five years now, but Etisalat is stand still on its day-one stance since the dispute surfaced in early 2009.
Ishaq Dar, Finance Minister, was yesterday quoted by Reuters as saying that dispute is finally nearing its conclusion.
“The release of funds is expected shortly”, Dar told Reuters — a statement that we have heard over and over again during past few years.
Payment dispute between Etisalat and Government of Pakistan roots back to 3,248 properties that Pakistan had to transfer to PTCL under the sale purchase agreement.
Etisalat was maintaining that Pakistan must transfer these properties before its $800 million are released.
While majority of properties have been transferred, PTCL is still to gain the possession of 31 properties, but these are unlikely to ever be transferred due to various reasons including legal impediments.
Etisalat, on the other hands, is rigidly committed to hold the payment till all properties are transferred to PTCL, something – as mentioned above – that is not possible at all due to legal limitations.
Pakistan has repeatedly offered Etisalat to deduct the value of disputed properties and clear the remaining dues, but nothing has changed the situation.
It seems that Etisalat will keep holding of payment for next few years – as remaining properties are unlikely to be transferred to PTCL – while it appears that Government of Pakistan will have to decide punitive action against the group to finally recover its money.
For your reference, check below the selected history of the dispute between Etisalat and Government of Pakistan.
- Dec 2009: Etisalat is Holding $800 million Pakistani Payment For an Year Now
- Jan 2010: Etisalat to Pay $800 mln to Pakistan by March 2010
- March 2010: Etisalat May Further Delay Pakistan Payment
- Jun 2010: Etisalat Asked to Pay At least $500 million
- Jul 2010: Etisalat Looking for Discount in Discounted PTCL Deal
- Sep 2010: Privatization Minister Urges Earliest Resolution of Issues with Etisalat
- Feb 2011: Zardari Secretly Visited UAE to Settle Issues with Etisalat
- May 2011: Etisalat Agrees to Pay Pending Payment Against More PTCL Shares
- Oct 2011: Etisalat Assures Pakistan for Release of US $ 800 Million
- Feb 2012: Etisalat to Deduct $73 Million for Properties to Settle $800 Million Dispute with GoP
- April 2012: Pakistan to Takeover PTCL if Etisalat Fails to Pay $800 Million till June 2012
- Dec 2012: PM Tells Etisalat Chairman to Clear Pending USD 800 Million
- July 2013: Etisalat to Pay USD 800 Million Soon: Anusha Rehman
- Dec 2013: Anusha Rehman Meets PTCL President for Recovery of Etisalat Held USD 800 Million