ISLAMABAD - The govt has expedited the process of handing over remaining properties, which were the major cause of withholding of payable amount of $800 million by the company to the government, to Etisalat group. Transferring of these properties will make the group bound to pay remaining amount to the govt.

Etisalat group had stopped aforementioned payment to the government on the basis that the government had not transferred all the properties of PTCL to them, which was decided in the agreement between the company and the government while privatising the organization.  The government has already budgeted the amount in the budget 2013-14 and it is expected that the properties will be transferred before June to receive the payment of $800 million. It is pertinent to mention here that the government desperately needs that money in order to maintain its foreign reserves.  The government is pursuing the next generation auction process as well for the purpose of raising foreign reserves. It is expecting to get around $1.2 billion from the auction of next generation mobile technology.

In the case of PTCL privatization, it was sold at a price of $2.6 billion against 26 per cent shares and 3248 properties. PTCL paid $1.8 billion at that time. The government transferred 3117 properties to PTCL. On the basis of remaining properties those were supposed to be transferred to the group as per agreement, Etisalat withheld the remaining payment of $800 million. Out of the remaining properties now 60 properties are in final stage to be transferred to the group and the government is working on the other assets as well to be transferred as soon as possible.  The important thing is that the group does not seem willing to pay the outstanding amount to the government until and unless the properties are transferred and the government on the other side has budgeted the amount in the budget that is making it now adopt the fast track to transfer these assets as soon as possible to have that amount in hand.