Chairman Privatisation Commission Mohammad Zubair on Thursday announced Pakistan’s power sector privatisation programme at a roadshow in Washington, saying that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government was committed to its wide-ranging economic reform agenda.

Speaking on the occasion, he said Pakistan’s government is pursuing an ambitious privatisation programme in the power sector and is exploring various means of private sector participation in its thermal generation companies (Gencos) and distribution companies (Discos).

The event titled “Market Consultation: Pakistan’s Power Sector Privatisation Road Show” is being held at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Centre and is being organised by the Privatisation Commission in cooperation with the World Bank, the United States Energy Association and the US-Pakistan Business Council.

In his presentation, Zubair said Pakistan, a functioning democracy, expected GDP growth to be over 5 percent, with forex reserves reaching $20 billion. Inflation was below 5pc — lowest in the last 12 years., while remittance stood at a record $1.44 billion monthly on average.

The power sector entities for divestment with management control included Faisalabad Electric Supply Co Ltd (FESCO); Northern Power Generation Co Ltd (NPGCL-GENCO-III) - Thermal Power Station (TPS) Muzaffargarh (1350 MW); Lahore Electric Supply Company Limited (LESCO); Islamabad Electric Supply Company Limited (IESCO) and; Quetta Electric Supply Company Limited (QESCO). Also on the list are Lakhra Power Generation Company Ltd (LPGCL) (GENCO-IV); Peshawar Electric Supply Company Limited (PESCO); Central Power Generation Company Ltd (CPGCL) (GENCO-II) and Multan Electric Power Company Limited (MEPCO).

Zubair told the participants that Pakistan is one of the fastest growing markets globally, with a promising consumer market.

In his address, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United states Jalil Abbas Jilandi said the event was timely as Prime Minister Sharif was scheduled to have talks with President Barak Obama during his visit to the United states later this month.

On Pakistan-US relations, particularly economic cooperation, Ambassador Jilani said the multi-faceted relationship, which has witnessed lows and highs over the six decades, has stood the ‘tests of times’, with both countries having sustained constructive engagement in the interest of peace, security and stability in the regional as well as global context.

“Economic Relations between our two countries have flourished but continue to be characterised by vast untapped potentia,” he said. “We need to act towards strengthening this important component of relationship, as resolved between President Barak Obama and Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif during the Prime Minister’s visit to the United States in October 2013.”

The Strategic Dialogue Process initiated between the United States and Pakistan in early 2013, he said, has established Working Groups in key areas including Energy as well as economy and finance. With the recent addition of new Working Group on Education, Science and Technology, the Process contains a robust economic component.

The United States has consistently been the largest destination for Pakistani exports, the Pakistani envoy said. In the last year, Pakistani exports to the US were $3.672 billion, which were around 16 percent of Pakistan’s total exports. The US was the fifth largest trading partner of Pakistan in terms of total trade volume, crossing $5 billion mark in bilateral trade in 2013 but need to work towards increasing the overall trade volume between the two countries.