privatizationFirst phase of privatization: PIA, four others to go under the hammer

Brecorder – The Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP) has decided to begin its privatisation journey with the sell-off of five entities in the first phase. Sources said the Finance Minister would be away from the country from October 8 to 15 to attend 2013 Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group (WBG) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC and celebrate Eidul Azha with his family in London. On his return, the Privatisation Commission would submit a list of five entities to the next meeting of the CCoP for approval.

They further stated that a meeting of the CCoP presided over by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was given a detailed presentation on the list of 30 entities and another entity, Lakra Power Project, was also added to the list by the meeting for approval of Council of Common Interest (CCI).

In reply to a question, sources said the CCoP asked the PC to finalise the mode of privatisation of each entity whether it intended to privatise it in the form of strategic partnership, through sale of shares on Stock Exchange or any other mode because each entity differed from other and needed to be handled differently to attract the best possible price.

An official said the government may go for privatisation of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM), Pakistan Petroleum Limited, National Insurance Company Limited (NICL), etc, in the first phase. The Privatization Commission furnished a list of entities for consideration of the CCoP. After thorough deliberations, the Committee agreed to initiate process of Privatization. The meeting directed the Privatization Commission to ensure that the interests of employees was protected at all costs.

The meeting was attended by Minister of Water and Power Khawja Mohammad Asif, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqaan Abbasi, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Minister of State for Privatization Khurram Dastagir, Federal Secretaries for Water and Power, Petroleum and Natural Resources, Finance, Planning and Development ,Commerce, Law Justice and Human Rights, Board of Investment, Privatization Commission, Governor State Bank of Pakistan, Chairman Securities & Exchange Commission and senior officials of Ports and Shipping Division as well as Textile Industry Division.

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