ISLAMABAD

The Cabinet Committee on Privatisation in its meeting chaired by Finance Minister Dar here on Friday approved transaction structure for divestment of National Power Construction Corporation Limited (NPCC).

The Privatisation Commission Board, in its meeting held on January 23, 2015 had recommended the strategic sale of GoP shares in NPCC. The recommendation was upheld by the CCoP after detailed deliberations today (Friday).

Chairman Privatisation Commission, Mohammad Zubair briefed the Finance Minister and members of the CCoP that the Financial Adviser (FA), i.e. M/s MCB Bank and UBL, was appointed for the optimal divestment of GoP shares in NPCC. Based on their due diligence and market sounding exercise, the FA proposed strategic sale of a GoP shares in NPCC.

The government has estimated to generate Rs2 billion from divesting the 88 percent shares of the NPCC. The previous government of Pakistan Peoples Party had transferred the remaining 12 percent government shares in the name of a trust of NPCC employees under the Benazir Employees Stock Option Scheme (BESOS).

The National Power Construction Corporation Limited (NPCC) is one of the four entities, which would be privatised during ongoing financial year 2014-15. The government already divested the shares of Allied Bank of Pakistan in last December, which would be followed by divesting the shares of Habib Bank Limited in next month (March). The remaining fourth entity would be Heavy Electrical Complex.

NPCC, it may be added, was established in 1974 by the Government of Pakistan, under the Federal Ministry of Water and Power, with the special objective of executing power engineering projects speedily and economically, not only at home but also in other friendly countries. NPCC is fully equipped to undertake speedy execution of power projects on turn-key basis, i.e. Extra high voltage transmission lines, cable networks, LV distribution network, substations, industrial electrification, external lighting of housing complexes, etc., and has demonstrated proven capability during more than three decades in its field.

Federal Minister for Planning & Development, Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Commerce, Khurram Dastgir, Chairman BOI, Miftah Ismail and other senior officials attended the meeting.

Dar discusses NEC's steps to choke funding for terrorists' activities

National Executive Committee (NEC) on Anti-Money Laundering and combating terrorism financing was informed that specific provisions of Anti-Terrorism Act relating to terrorist financing should be strengthen through capacity building, strict enforcement and frequent use of proscription.

National Executive Committee (NEC) on Anti-Money Laundering and combating terrorism financing, chaired by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, has discussed the measures outlined by the NEC's special sub-committee to choke funding for the terrorists' activities as well as proposals on amendments in AML Act, 2010.

The Finance Minister on this occasion sought update on measures outlined by the NEC's special sub-committee to choke funding for the terrorists' activities as well as proposals on amendments in AML Act, 2010.

The sub-committee on choking funding for terrorists and terrorist organisations, it may be added, has recommended strengthening of specific provisions of Anti Terrorism Act relating to terrorist financing through capacity building, strict enforcement and frequent use of proscription. It has also observed that there was need for an effective law to regulate and monitor activities of NPOs/charities. It also recommended effective check on the use of illegal/ informal remitters (hawala/hundi) for criminal activities including Terrorism Financing. It observed there was need for increased coordination among investigating agencies of the Federal and Provincial Governments and that consolidated database of Terrorists (Individual and Organisations) must be maintained. Director General Financial Monitoring Unit of the Ministry of Finance gave a detailed presentation on status of National Risk Assessment (NRA) and National AML/CFT Strategy. He informed the participants that FATF (Regional Review Group) visited Pakistan in Dec 2014 to assess implementation status of the National Action Plan and expressed satisfaction over it. He also briefed the Minister on the preparation for FATF Plenary to be held in Paris from Feb 22-27, 2015 where implementation on the National Action Plan by Pakistan would come into focus. The meeting today also dilated on other issues to be discussed in the plenary session.

The Finance Minister said that money laundering and terrorism financing were important issues and that NEC needed to meet frequently to discuss the status of ongoing efforts to address these issues. The Minister also gave instructions for finalising preparations for the FATF Plenary.