ISLAMABAD - The government has decided to appoint Board of Investment Chairman Muhammad Zubair as the new chairman of Privatisation Commission/Minister of State for Privatisation.

Sources said the government would issue a notification regarding the appointment of Muhammad Zubair as Minister of State for Privatisation in a few days. Zubair would also have the portfolio of the Board of Investment chairman.

Earlier, Minister of State for Commerce and Textile Khurram Dastagir Khan quit the additional charge of the Privatisation Commission chairman. However, he will remain the state minister for trade and textile. The sources said Khurram Dastgir Khan would pay attention to the Ministry of Commerce to increase the country’s exports after Pakistan got GSP (generalised scheme of preferences) plus status from the European Union. They termed reports about differences ‘baseless’.

“It is not in my knowledge whether the government has appointed me as new chairman of Privatisation Commission as I have got no notification so far,” said Muhammad Zubair while talking to The Nation on Saturday. He further said, “I am just holding the charge of Board of Investment, currently.”

Talking about the privatisation plan, the Board of Investment chairman said the government would ensure 100 percent transparency in the process as people raised questions on the privatisation of the past. He added the government would restructure the public sector entities before their privatisation. He asserted the government would ensure protection of jobs of workers of public-sector entities.

It is worth mentioning here that Cabinet Committee on Privatisation has decided to privatise 68 public-sector entities of which 20 would be privatised during the ongoing financial year 2013-2014. Every year, around Rs 500 billion are wasted due to mismanagement and operational flaws in these 68 state-run enterprises. According to official estimates, of these PSEs, eight major state-run entities are receiving more than Rs 300 billion in annual support and bailouts from the federal government.