ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Wednesday reportedly sought $600 million from Etisalat as $800 million have been held up by the company for a long time due to non-transfer of some properties of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL).
Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar on Wednesday met with a delegation of Etisalat led by Ahmad AK Juffar, CEO Etisalat . Finance Minister has asked the Etisalat delegation to immediately release $600 million to Pakistan, as more than 60 properties have either been transferred or in the final stages of transfer to PTCL.
Ahmad AK Juffar informed the Finance Minister that he would take up the issue with the Board of Directors of Etisalat for an early resolution of the matter.
Meanwhile, according to the press statement issued, meeting which was held in a very constructive and congenial atmosphere, discussed the issue of transfer of 131 remaining properties to PTCL and the long over due payment of $800 million to Pakistan.
The meeting noted that more than 60 properties have either been transferred or in the final stages of transfer to PTCL. Details of the remaining properties in the process of transfer include nine in Punjab, 45 in Sindh, four in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, five in Balochistan and eight in the Federal Government. The Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that the government is committed to transfer all properties to PTCL and decided to constitute a committee to fast track the process.
The Finance Minister directed the committee to pursue the issue of transfer of properties with the provinces on a fast track basis so that this could be resolved. The Finance Minister desired that this longstanding issues which had now been pending for over 7 years should be settled at the earliest possible.
It is worth mentioning here that an Etisalat consortium bought a 26 per cent stake in PTCL for $2.6 billion in 2005 that also gave Etisalat majority-voting rights. The UAE firm paid an initial $1.80 billion as per the deal terms, which also included transferring ownership of the properties to PTCL from the government.
 Etisalat was to pay the remaining $800 million it owed in six twice-yearly installments of $133 million, but has withheld payment as the transfer of some of these properties stalled. At the time of privatisation of PTCL, there were a total of 3,248 properties to be mutated in favour of PTCL. Of these, 3117 have been transferred till date leaving 131 outstanding properties, which include 32, public and 99 private.
Those who attended the meeting included Walid Irshad, President and CEO, PTCL, AR Al-Nooryani, Chairman Etisalat investment in Pakistan and Sarken Orkandan, CFO, Etisalat and senior officials of the Ministry of Finance.