Pakistan to Finalize a Triage of State-owned Entities for Privatization

Pakistan is expected to finalize a triage of all State-owned entities (SOEs), which will identify entities that would be under state management, subject to privatization, or liquidated, says the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

This has been stated in the Fund paper which provides an interim update on the implementation of the 2018 Framework for Enhanced Fund Engagement on Governance. This update is in advance of a comprehensive formal review of the Framework scheduled for mid-2021.

The fund paper mentions that efforts are underway to establish a publicly available asset declaration system for high-level public officials, complete the second review cycle of the implementation of the UNCAC, and to conduct a domestic assessment of the framework for anti-corruption institutions.

The paper stated that the three-year Extended Fund Facility for Pakistan (approved in July 2019) highlighted the need to strengthen the effectiveness of the country’s anti-corruption institutions, improving the governance, transparency, and efficiency of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) as well as central bank governance.

Capacities of law enforcement agencies to conduct financial investigations continue to be upgraded. Improving mechanisms for international cooperation are also supporting the authorities’ activities in identifying assets owned by Pakistani citizens located abroad and recovering stolen assets.

With technical assistance from the IMF, a new SOE law is being prepared that will define the rationale for state ownership, ensure SOE operations are grounded on a commercial footing, regulatory oversight, and ownership arrangements (end-September 2020 structural benchmark).

At the same time, a triage of all SOEs is also expected to be finalized, which would identify those that would be maintained under state management, subject to privatization, or liquidated (end-September 2020 structural benchmark).

The authorities continue to advance the privatization and audits of selected SOEs. To strengthen the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)’s autonomy, governance, and mandate in line with the recommendations of IMF safeguards assessment, the SBP Act is being amended.

“Under the RFI to ensure the quality of the additional spending in the health sector, Pakistan is committed to subject the procurement of urgently needed medical supplies to an ex-post audit by the Auditor General of Pakistan, the results of which will be published on the website of the Ministry of Finance. Pakistan will continue to strengthen governance by enhancing the effectiveness of anti-corruption and AML/CFT frameworks”, it added.

Through various modalities, staff has been providing virtual capacity development. For instance, assisting in enhancing its AML/CFT framework and meeting its FATF action plan.

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