The government has set an ambitious target of Rs 50 billion to be generated through privatisation by Privatisation Commission during the fiscal year 2016-17.
The federal budget for 2016-17 envisaged Rs 50 billion from privatisation proceeds in fiscal year 2016-17 against the downward revised target of Rs 13.6 billion for the outgoing fiscal year. In the outgoing year’s budget, the target to generate from privatisation proceeds was Rs 50 billion but later it was revised downward.
Sources said that the privatisation of Public Sector Entities (PSEs) was a big challenge due to complicated privatisation process, opposition of political parties and many other factors. That was why the target was downward revised in the outgoing fiscal year, they added. Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCOP) accorded approval to divestment of Government’s Residual Shareholdings in Kot Adu Power Company Ltd (KAPCO) and also approved sale of shares of Mari Petroleum Company Ltd through the domestic stock exchange or offering them to the shareholders.
The Industrial Development Bank and Telephone Industries of Pakistan are also put in the priority list of entities for early privatisation. In case of privatisation of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM), it has been decided that response from the Sindh Government on Federal Government’s offer to acquire PSM may be ascertained by June 10, 2016 so that further action in the matter could be taken. The government also gave instructions for completing, on priority, all necessary formalities to convert PIA from a corporation into a public limited company in the light of the bill passed by the parliament. –Business Recorder