The government has decided to privatize six state-owned entities (SOEs) including two Re-Gasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) power plants, while the revival of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) will be completed by the end of FY20.
The government will earn Rs. 150 billion in non-tax revenue from the privatization of six loss-making public sector enterprises (PSEs) by June 30. The privatization process was initiated again after 10 years and initially, six PSEs will be included:
- Sindh Engineering
- SME Bank
- Guddu Power Plant
- Pakistan Steel Mills
- First Women Bank Limited
- Jinnah Convention Centre
Federal Minister for Privatisation Muhammad Mian Soomro announced this while addressing a press conference along with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan and Secretary Privatization Commission Rizwan Malik.
The minister said investors from Japan, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, and Pakistan have submitted their documents. “This shows foreign investors are keen to invest in Pakistan,” he added.
He briefed that the government also intends to sell 27 real-estate properties which will be placed for the auction within two months. “Initially, the government intended to privatize the loss-making enterprises,” he said.
The minister revealed that the restructuring of PSM was among the top priorities for which financial advisers had already been hired.
Privatization Secretary Rizwan Malik said that the negotiations with UAE telecom company Etisalat are going in the right direction as Etisalat offered more than $250 million out of the total $800 million receivables to Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL). Malik hoped that the country will resolve the pending PTCL privatization issue with Etisalat in the next few months.
A meeting on the transfer of ownership of K-Electric will be held on Thursday (today). However, the Privatization Division could not give a timeframe that both matters would be resolved in the current financial year 2019-20.
Privatization Division has committed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that it will privatize seven loss-making entities in the current financial year. Rizwan Malik said that the target of selling seven SOEs in the current financial year was revised to six as Lakhra Coal Power Plant was out of the privatization list due to court cases. The task of privatization of six entities was given in November 2018, he added.
He said that the remaining entities include PSM, divestment shares of Mari Petroleum Company Ltd, SME Bank, Guddu Thermal Power Plant, Services International Hotel, Lahore, and twenty-seven government properties that are non-utilized.
Dr. Firdous said some properties of the federal government will be transferred to the Pakistan Housing Authority so that affordable houses could be constructed on them.
The prime minister, she said, wanted to privatize the entities which had become a burden on the public exchequer. Privatization would help lessen the problems of inflation and unemployment, and the revenues generated from it would be invested in public welfare, she added.
The activity in the construction sector would benefit 42 allied industries, besides creating job opportunities and wealth, and providing shelter to low-income persons, she added.