The Senate’s Standing Committee for IT has instructed the privatization commission and Ministry of IT to resolve the matter of 800 million dollars due on part of Etisalat — for purchase of PTCL’s shares in 2005 — within one month.
Meeting was presided by Senator Shahi Syed. In the meeting, Muhammad Zubair, chairman Privatization, said that the government and Etisalat had reached an agreement over the non-transferrence of 33 properties. The government and Etisalat will evaluate the value of these properties separately and the amount will be deducted from the pending 800 million dollars.
The valuation of properties has been completed by the government of Pakistan and despite letter being sent to Etisalat, the task is still incomplete from their side. It was further revealed that according to an unofficial report, evaluation from government of Pakistan and Etisalat are drastically different.
Muhammad Zubair revealed that Minister of Finance, Ishaq Dar, had contacted UAE on a diplomatic level concerning the 800 million dollars. Following the talks, the chairman of Etisalat came to Pakistan in September and reached an agreement with the government over the non-transference of 33 properties.
Senator Rehman Malik, member committee, suggested that an international firm be hired to evaluate the properties and that estimate be presented to Etisalat.
Chairman Privatization Committee said that Etisalat paid 1,400 million dollars to the government of Pakistan by July 2007. Due to non-transferrance of properties by the agreed deadline of January 2008, Etisalat blocked the remaining 800 million dollar payment which is still due till date.
Committee was told that at the time of privatization, 3,248 properties weren’t even registered to PTCL and currently, more than 3212 properties have been transferred to Etisalat.