Six to seven parties are interested in bidding for Heavy Electrical Complex (HEC), which is almost shut and has repaired only one electric transformer in the past year. This was revealed in a briefing given to the Senate Standing Committee on Privatisation in Islamabad on Thursday.
The Senate Standing Committee on Privatisation met under the chairmanship of Senator Shamim Afridi. The committee reviewed the progress of privatization of state-owned enterprises and considered the issue of auction of shares of Heavy Electrical Complex amongst others.
The committee was briefed that the 63-acre Heavy Electrical Complex has fallen into ruins and incurred damages of over Rs. 883 million. The Secretary Privatisation stated that owing to mounting difficulties in managing the state of affairs of the entity, the Heavy Electrical Complex has to repay a loan of Rs. 50 million.
The Privatization Commission officials revealed that the Heavy Electrical Complex did not build any transformers last year and repaired just one transformer during the period in review. They said the entity’s losses are increasing on an annual basis. The meeting was informed that the 250 employees of Heavy Electrical Complex are a burden on the company.
Bidding for privatization of the Heavy Electrical Complex will be held on January 19. After privatization, the Federal Minister for Privatization said another factory may be constructed.
The Privatization Commission officials detailed that all shares of the Heavy Electrical Complex will be sold. They said the reserve price of the complex is under consideration, and six out of seven companies are eligible for privatization of the entity.
The Senate Standing Committee on Privatization also reviewed progress on the privatization of the First Women Bank. In this regard, the Federal Minister for Privatisation, Mohammed Mian Soomro, said the privatization of the bank is expected to be finalized by December 2022.
He remarked that the reshuffle of finance ministers in the past few years affected the privatization process. He said that up until recently, the bank hadn’t been audited for almost three years due to a lack of an active board. Now, the board of First Women Bank has been formed, and formalities for an audit have commenced, he added.
The committee was also briefed that the First Women Bank incurred a loss of Rs. 310 million in 1996. Concerned officials said that money was taken from the State Bank of Pakistan to cover the substantial loss incurred by the bank.
Currently, the First Women Bank owns 42 branches while the remaining branches are on rent.