ISLAMABAD - The government is all set to divest the shares of three public sector entities including Oil and Gas Company Limited (OGDCL) Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) and United Bank Limited (UBL) before June 30 2014, which would generate Rs 137 billion.

“We are going to disinvest the shares of three public sector entities OGDCL, PPL and UBL within current fiscal year (before June 30 2014)”, said Minister of State for Privatization, Muhammad Zubair while talking to The Nation on Thursday. He further said that privatisation process take some time, therefore privatisation of other approved eight entities could not completed within ongoing financial year 2013-14.

The Privatisation Commission board had so far given approval of privatisation/ disinvestments of shares of 11 public sector entities. The 11 entities including Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Oil and Gas Company Limited (OGDCL), Habib Bank Limited (HBL), United Bank Limited (UBL), Allied Bank Limited (ABL), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), National Power Construction Company (NPCC) and Heavy Electrical Complex, two Discos (Fesco and Lesco) and one Genco (TPS MuzaffarGarh 1350 MW).

However, the government would divest the shares of three public sector entities OGDCL, PPL and UBL before June 30 2014.

Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar on Thursday chaired a meeting to review the progress made by the Privatisation Commission in following the time line for the divestment of 3 entities already approved by the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP). Minister of State for Privatisation, Muhammad Zubair, in a detailed briefing, explained that the Commission has been working with complete vigilance and efficiency to balance the competing objectives of maximising sale proceeds while adequately addressing labour, social and environmental issues.

He said that, as the first step towards divesting shares in state owned entities, OGDCL, PPL and UBL will be offered to general public through prospective capital markets and the appointment of the Financial Advisors in this regard will be completed by the 3rd week of March, 2014. He informed that out of the total shares held by the Government of Pakistan, only 10 -20pc shares will be offered in the capital market and that will expectedly bring PKR.137 billion in proceeds.

The Federal Minister directed the Privatisation Commission to exercise due diligence in the preparation of the offer circular. The Federal Minister also said that wherever possible pre-strategic partnership restructuring will be undertaken by the government to act as a catalyst factor in attracting private sector strategic partnerships and investment. He said that while putting in place credible plans for restructuring, due process should not be compromised. He said that the whole process will also provide PSEs the incentive and flexibility to pursue long term investment plan thus liberating the Government from micro-management of PSEs.

The Federal Minister further directed the Chairman Privatisation Commission to bring out a detailed plan of the operations and the expected time lines to meet the targets in the next meeting. The meeting was also participated by Dr Waqar Masood, Secretary Finance, Moazzam Ali, Consultant Privatisation Commission, Assad Rasool, Senior Consultant Privatization Commission, Rana Assad Amin, Advisor to Finance Division, Special Assistant to Finance Minister, Shahid Mahmood and senior officials of the Ministry of Finance.