Constraints

In the beginning there was a lot of mistrust about the Government policies and prospective investors had little confidence in Pakistan’s economy and continuity of policies. Much of this criticism vanished when people witnessed continuity of policies and bipartisan support to the principles of liberalization, deregulation and privatisation.

Substantial progress has been made to accelerate the pace of privatisation by overcoming resistance from the vested interests and negative market sentiment. Notwithstanding the above, the Government is taking further measures to overcome the following constraints in the implementation of the privatisation policy and to further improve transparency:

  • Perception issues and lack of understanding about the privatisation process
  • Regulatory uncertainty particularly in the utilities and infrastructure sectors
  • Litigation from losing parties and occasionally from public
  • Continued opposition both overt and covert from the vested interests.

Remedy

  • Many people ignore the hidden costs of the services provided by the public sector due to their inefficiencies. There is very limited awareness of the cost incurred to the Government (and indirectly to the people) in the shape of subsidies. Therefore, there is a need to rationalize tariff structures to reflect cost of service.
  • Resistance of vested interests has subsided to a large extent but whenever an entity is brought on the privatisation agenda, the interest groups benefiting from its continued national ownership start their tactics to resist privatisation. The PC remains vigilant of their resistance and uses various methods to overcome the resistance.
  • Being realistic in the amount of proceeds that can be obtained from the transactions; in some instances, those opposed to privatisation inflate expectations of likely proceeds with the intention of raising controversy and undermining the privatisation process.
  • Ensuring that federal investigation teams carry out their work with an open mind and in a professional manner so as not to demoralize investors and others involved in the privatisation process so that decisions are taken at different for a based on sound business practices.
  • Developing, structuring and timing capital market transactions in a manner that broadens, deepens and strengthens the capital markets in Pakistan.
  • Large number of cases had been filed since 1991 at various for a including Civil and District Courts, Labour Courts, National Industrial Relations Commission (NIRC), Federal Service Tribunal, Wafaqi Mohtasib, and High Courts. These were pursued vigorously and generally decided in favour of PC. The Privatisation Commission Ordinance 2000 has laid down special mechanism whereby the High Courts are exercising the exclusive jurisdiction in privatisation related cases. Consequently, Privatisation Commission, instead of making representations and defending itself before various forums, now defend and file case mainly before the High Courts. This has resulted in reduction in the number of privatisation related cases. Out of 1136 cases filed in various courts against the PC since 1991, 982 have been disposed off while 154 are still pending. The reduction in number of cases has, indeed, made the process of privatisation smooth and fast.
  • Rules and Regulations framed pursuant to Privatisation Commission Ordinance 2000.