Islamabad, 02 October 2017

Privatisation Commission’s Board meeting was held today in Islamabad. The PC Board congratulated Federal Minister for Privatisation, Mr. Daniyal Aziz on assuming the charge of Chairman Privatisation. Mr. Daniyal Aziz briefed the forum on the various facets of Pakistan’s Privatisation Program and deliberated on the government’s plans that are in the offing in the sector. Secretary Privatisation Division, Mr. Irfan Ali gave an overview of the Privatisation Program’s implementation status and PC Board members provided their guidance to achieve the targets.

The PC Board extended their approval to initiate next steps for the privatization of SME Bank and Heavy Electrical Complex. It was hoped that privatization of this entities would soon take place to facilitate the improvements required for the entities. The Board also decided to work out a detailed plan to suggest way forward regarding hiring of Financial Advisors to divest GoP shares in Mari Petroleum Company Limited.

Privatisation Commission’s Board was apprised about the progress in proposed privatization of Pakistan Steel Mills. The Minister for Privatisation, Mr. Daniyal Aziz, categorically stated that government wants PSM to be privatized at the earliest, to put a halt to continued losses being accrued to the national exchequer. He explained the PC Board, about steps, government has taken to pay the salaries to more than 12000 employees of the PSM. He explained the PC’s plan to settle the liabilities of PSM as approved by the PC Board and Cabinet Committee on Privatisation, in consultation with Sui Southern Gas Company and National Bank of Pakistan. The Board members extended their suggestions and assured PC of their continued support to resolve the issues, enabling PSM to be privatised at the earliest.

The prospects of privatization of PIACL were also deliberated at length in the PC Board Meeting. The forum had a consensus on the point that privatization of PIACL has become difficult in the wake of recent legislation that has barred from transfer of 51% GoP shares and management to the investors. It was decided that government will be approached to clarify whether, privatization for PIACL is an option or not. If government has an intention to privatize PIACL, then amendment in the current legislation will be proposed to kick-off the privatization process.

The PC Board was also informed about the volume and nature of losses being accrued in GENCOs and DISCOs. The volume of circular debt has already reached Rs 450 billion and is likely to rise more, making it all the more important to improve the efficiency of the power generation and distribution companies. After detailed discussion, it was decided that Privatisation Commission would seek approval of the government to privatize Northern Power Generation Company Limited (NPGCL), Faisalabad Electric Supply Company Limited (FESCO) and Islamabad Electric Supply Company Limited (IESCO) as strategic sale. The Privatisation Commission Board also discussed and adopted accounts in respect of the Commission and constituted committees to resolve outstanding administrative and financial issues.

The Chairman PC, Mr. Daniyal Aziz thanked the PC Board Members for their keen interest and detailed deliberations in key matters. He hoped that PC as an organization and PC Board members as part of the team would jointly work to steer the government’s privatization agenda towards the right direction for achievement of goals of efficiency and stability in state owned entities. The meeting ended with the resolve to meet again in the near future to see the implementation of decisions taken in the meeting.