PS,PIA to be privatized by 2018

KARACHI: For attaining higher growth rate and boosting economy, the government will have to go for mass-scale privatisation despite opposition, said Federal Minister and Chairman, Privatisation Commission, Mohammad Zubair, on Saturday.Speaking to members of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), the minister disclosed that process of inviting Expressions of Interest (EoIs) for Faisalabad Electric Supply and Distribution Company would start from Monday.He further said that Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) of State Life Insurance Corporation (SLIC) and 30 other state-owned entities, including SME Bank, would soon be announced.He said as a nation fundamental decision has to be taken and the Privatisation Commission (PC) was ready to deliver on the promise of disposing of state-owned entities.The minister disclosed that on average Rs400 billion losses are being incurred by all the nine power distribution companies.He warned that the country could not offer employment to all at 4pc GDP growth rate and in order to overcome this issue, a high GDP growth of 7pc would be needed and without privatisation, higher growth rate may not be achieved.

He further stated that the commission had written a letter to the chief minister of Sindh for privatisation of Pakistan Steel and in case the provincial government fails to respond by the end of next month, the commission would look for other buyers.He disclosed that by 2018 the Privatisation Commission will dispose of Pakistan International Airline, Steel Mills, SME Bank, SLIC and 30 other state-owned entities.Earlier, FPCCI’s Acting President Shahnawaz Ishtiaq stated that since the handing over of state-owned entities to the private sector, these have stopped making losses, and are presently earning profits.

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