ISLAMABAD - After completing the privatisation of three entities within ongoing fiscal year, the government is working to privatise National Power Construction Corporation (NPCC) by the end of May 2015 that might generate two billion rupees for the national kitty.

“We plan to finalize the offer for National Power Construction Corporation (NPCC) by end-May 2015”, Pakistan had stated in written assurance to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Sources in Privatization Commission informed that government could earn two billion rupees through the privatization of the NPCC.

The government had privatized five public sector entities so far in last ten months and three out of them during ongoing financial year. The government had already completed the transactions of Allied Bank of Pakistan (ABL) in December last year that generated Rs 14.4 billion, Heavy Electrical Complex (HEC) in March for Rs.905 million and divested the shares of the Habib Bank Limited that will raise $1.06 billion (foreign exchange 764 million dollars and Rs24,567 million).

The government had assured the IMF to privatize eight entities during ongoing year 2015. “We appointed financial advisors for Northern Power Generation Company Limited (NPGCL) and expect to complete the transaction by end-October 2015”, stated Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies dually signed by Finance Minister and Governor State Bank of Pakistan along with Letter of Intent written to IMF for the sixth economic review.

Similarly, the government would also privatize Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO), Convention Center, Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) and Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) by the end of current year.

Regarding privatization of Pakistan International Airlines, Pakistan stated to IMF, “We have appointed financial advisors in July 2014 (structural benchmark) to seek potential options for restructuring and strategic private sector participation in the core airline business by end-December 2015 (structural benchmark). The diligence process will be completed by end-March 2015. Plans for private participation will be developed thereafter.”

The government also explained regarding privatization of Pakistan Steel Mills by saying, “We have appointed a professional board and a new chief executive officer and approved a comprehensive restructuring plan to prepare for potential strategic private sector participation in the company. Operational efficiency has begun to improve and capacity utilization has already climbed from 18 to 40 percent. In January 2015, we advertised for appointment of financial advisors, however, it was disqualified during the evaluation process. We have re-advertised on February 15, 2015 and expect to complete the appointment of financial advisors by end March 2015 so that the due diligence process can be initiated”.

It is worth mentioning here that government had estimated to generate Rs 198 billion through privatization process in the budget for the ongoing financial year 2014-2015. However, it could not generate aforesaid amount because government did not divest the shares of Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) because its share prices were reduced due to the tumbling oil prices in international market. The government had planned to generate Rs 80 billion through the privatization of OGDCL.