ISLAMABAD

The Board of Privatisation Commission on Tuesday approved the privatisation plan of the ongoing financial year 2014-15 and the appointment of financial advisers for the privatisation of four public sector entities including Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

The Board of Privatisation Commission, which met under the chair of Minister of State Mohammad Zubair, has approved in principal the privatisation plan for the current fiscal year. The government has planned to privatise 27 public sector entities that would generate around Rs 300 billion for the national kitty during ongoing fiscal year 2014-2015.

Meanwhile, the Board of Privatisation Commission has approved the appointment of financial advisors for the privatisation of four entities. The entities included Pakistan International Airlines, Faisalabad Electric Supply Company Limited, National Power Construction Corporation and Central Power Generation Company Limited.

Under the IMF programme, the government had agreed to appoint a financial adviser for privatisation of PIA by end-March and divest 26pc shares of PIA to a strategic investor by end-December 2014. Though appointment of financial advisor was later revised to June 2014, the government missed the target twice. Sources said that approval to the appointment of financial advisor on PIA has been accorded with terms of reference to prepare a comprehensive restructuring plan and seek a potential strategic private sector participation in the company. After the appointment of a financial advisor, the restructuring and privatisation process would pick up momentum, sources added.

According to a Letter of Intent (LoI) agreed with IMF, the government has committed to continuing its restructuring plans and hire professional chief executives and board members for those enterprises with a corporate structure in line with the corporate governance rules.

It further says that the government is developing medium-term action plans to restructure Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Pakistan Steel Mill (PSM) and Pakistan Railways (PR). Specifically for PIA a financial adviser would be appointed by end-June 2014 (structural benchmark) to seek potential options for restructuring and strategic private sector participation in the company. In the meantime, PIA will continue leasing more efficient airplanes and rationalising routes

However, the media wing of the Privatisation Commission did not issue any handout of the board meeting. Similarly, the Minister of State Mohammad Zubair did not respond the calls despite making several attempts.

According to the documents of Privatisation Commission, the following of the 27 PSEs would be privatised this year: Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), Allied Bank of Pakistan (ABL), Habib Bank Limited (HBL), State Life Insurance Corporation, Pak Arab Refinery Limited, Mari Petroleum Limited and Government holding (Pvt.) Limited. Meanwhile, the government would privatize Heavy Electrical Complex, National Power Construction Corporation, Northern Power Generation Company Limited, Faisalabad Electric Supply Company Limited, Lahore Electric Supply Company Limited, Islamabad Electric Supply Company Limited, PIA IL (Roosevelt and Scribe hotels) and Convention Center Islamabad.

Similarly, the government would privatise Gujranwala Electric Supply Company Limited, Hyderabad Electric Supply Company Limited, Multan Electric Power Company Limited, Sukhar Electric Supply Company Limited, Quetta Electric Supply Company Limited, Peshawar Electric Supply Company Limited, Jamshoro Power Company Limited, Central Power Generation Company Limited and Lakhra Power Generation Company Limited during ongoing financial year 2014-15.