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20 Government Institutions of Pakistan will be Privatized

According to the order of Minister for Privatization Aleem Khan, 20 institutions will be privatized.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s new Minister for Privatization and Investment, Abdul Aleem Khan, has called for improved governance in state-owned companies and said at least 15-20 loss-making public enterprises will be privatized immediately.

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In the past, elected governments have avoided unpopular reforms, including the sale of entities such as Pakistan International Airlines, the flag carrier. But Pakistan, in a deep economic crisis, agreed last June to rehabilitate loss-making state enterprises under a $3 billion bailout deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Last September, the then caretaker government of Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar vowed to improve governance at state-owned companies and earmarked 10 entities for privatization or turnaround efforts.

In the current economic conditions, 15 to 20 institutions should be privatized immediately, Khan said in a statement from his office on Thursday.

Major institutions to be privatized

Among the main entities to be privatized are PIA, Qaumi Airlines, with debts and liabilities of Rs 180.6 billion by September 2023, followed by Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority with Rs 92.6 billion and Pakistan Steel Mills with Rs 40.3 billion. I am included. Khan said that the loss of PIA for the last five years is 500 billion rupees, there is no justification for all this.

Privatization of loss-making enterprises is not a matter of appeasing anyone but it is a question of survival of our country’s economy and there should be decisions involved.

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In addition to operational and technical measures to divest PIA, the previous caretaker government also amended a 2016 law that allowed the sale of its majority stake, according to a draft posted on the Pakistan Parliament website. was stopped.

In a report in mid-January, the IMF expressed satisfaction with the steps taken by the caretaker government to speed up reforms in public institutions, particularly in the PIA privatization law. Mentioned the change.

Progress on privatization

When the new government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif returns to the IMF after the current bailout program expires this month, consideration of privatization will be a key issue, he said. He has already directed his finance team headed by new finance minister Muhammad Aurangzeb to start working on the Fund Facility (EFF) after the current standby arrangement expires on April 11.

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