COVID-19 scare: Govt defers privatisation of 28 public sector entities 

ISLAMABAD: Following the situation emerging due to spread of deadly coronavirus, the Privatisation Division has deferred the sale of 28 public sector entities which were to be privatised in the current financial year 2019-2020, local media reported.  

The federal government has decided to auction these properties after the situation from coronavirus impact gets better. The government’s move is likely to endanger its commitment with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

This will also create a budget deficit of Rs150 billion from privatization proceeds in 2019-20. The federal government had planned divestment of shares of six entities including Mari Petroleum, SME Bank, Guddu Power Plant, Services International Hotel, Lahore, and 27 other government properties.

A handout issued by the privatisation ministry on Friday said, “The sale of 28 properties for final auction has been delayed due to the government restrictions on gatherings and unavailability of auction houses and related facilities.” 

“Most of our transactions are at an advanced stage and can be completed in time provided the national and international markets quickly recover from the current health crisis situation and overcome the coronavirus-related obstacles,” the statement added. 

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, Pakistan has approached multilateral creditors including theIMF to seek debt moratorium.   

According to the report, Pakistan’s $2.3 billion external debt will mature in the next three months and debt payments will burden the national kitty in its efforts to fight coronavirus.

Talking to a private news channel, Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar said that the government is in contact with the world financial institutions including World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Asian Development Bank and other conventional banks for seeking assistance regarding writ off facility of debt for underdeveloped nations.

He said,  “We will have to approach international banks, ADB and IMF, for availing 600 million dollars loan, besides, one and half billion rupees from other conventional banks to meet the uprising challenges.”


Monitoring Desk
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