Govt to sell off six PSEs to generate Rs150bn

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to privatise six loss-making public sector enterprises (PSEs) –SMEs Bank, First Women Bank, Haveli- Bahadur Shah and Balloki power plants, Mari Petroleum Company Limited, Services International Hotel Lahore, and Jinnah Convention Centre Islamabad – during the current fiscal year.

This was shared by Federal Privatisation Minister Mainmuhammad Soomro in a press conference along with Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and Privatisation Secretary Rizwan Malik.

The government will sell off these entities to generate more than Rs150 billion that would be utilised on debt servicing and public welfare projects.

Mian Soomro said that the government had received 12 bids for privatization of National Power Parks Management Company Limited (NPPMCL).

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The NPPMCL owns the two power plants: Balloki and Haveli Bahadur Shah, which have a combined generation capacity of 2,453 megawatts. He further said that investors from Japan, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Pakistan have submitted documents. “This shows foreign investors are keen to invest in Pakistan,” he added.

The secretary of the Privatisation Commission said that the government has also planned to divest up to 7 per cent stakes in the Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) and 10 per cent shares of Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL).

The government has also decided to sell 27 government-owned unproductive properties through an open auction in the next two months.

The government had already held roadshows for attracting investors for these 27 properties. Foreign investors from Dubai and Qatar and overseas Pakistanis had expressed interest in buying the properties, he said.

Rizwan Malik said that the government has planned to revive the Pakistan Steel Mills through investment from strategic investors, which would help in reducing the losses of mills.

Similarly, the government is also working to control the financial bleeding of other PSEs.

On a question about the slow process in the privatization programme, the secretary said that privatization takes time for ensuring efficiency as well as transparency.

He informed that the government is working on privatization of 18 PSEs and financial advisers for 14 had been appointed by following PPRA rules and Privatization ordinance.

He hoped that Pakistan would resolve the issues of pending amounts against the privatization of PTCL with UAE based company Etisalat in the next few months.

Rizwan Malik also said that the government has also decided to transfer three government-owned unproductive properties to Naya Pakistan Housing scheme and we will get a handsome amount for these properties.

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