ISLAMABAD   -   The government is working to complete the privatization of four to five public sector entities during current fiscal year that might generate more than budgeted Rs100 billion to the national kitty.

“The Privatization Commission is likely to complete the transactions of 4 to 5 entities by June 2021 out of 19 transactions,” said an official of the Privatization Commission (PC) while talking to The Nation on Thursday. He further said that government might privatize one or two PSES during current calendar year. According to the PC, there are 19 PSEs on the active list for privatization including Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) and Pakistan International Airlines owned Roosevelt Hotel, New York.

The official informed that government has already successfully sold the properties. Twenty three properties out of 26 were successfully auctioned on over and above the reserved price, earning PKR 1.113 billion for national exchequer. The government has failed to hold the auction of the biggest property, worth more than Rs5 billion due to different issues. Therefore, the government has not generated estimated amount of Rs6.62 billion from selling properties. “The fate of remaining three properties would be decided by Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCOP) for delisting from active privatization list owing to the various issues and complexities involved, hindering the execution of subject task,” said PC on Wednesday. 

In annual budget 2020-21, the federal government had budgeted an amount of Rs100 billion from the privatization programme during current fiscal year. The government had already decided that 90 per cent of sale proceed will go for debt retirement and rest of the 10 per cent for poverty alleviation. It is worth mentioning here that the government had budgeted Rs150 billion from privatization programme in last fiscal year 2019-20. However, it failed to generate any amount due to Covid-19 that had halted the privatization programme. The government even had not started the process of selling government owned properties due to the COVID-19.

According to the active privatization programme, the government is working on privatization of (1) 1223 MW Balloki Power Plant (2) 1230 MW Haveli Bahadur Power Plant (3) SME Bank Limited (4) First Women Bank Limited (5) Services International Hotel, Lahore (6) Jinnah Convention Centre, Islamabad (7)Mari Petroleum Limited (divestment of remaining shares) (8) Pakistan Steel Mills, PIA-IL Roosevelt Hotel, New York and others.