ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is all set to lock horns with PML-N government over its privatisation policy, as the major opposition party (PPP) will evolve a joint strategy against selling out of public sector entities (PSEs) after Eid-ul-Fitr.

“Number of the sensitive units being processed for privatisation pertain to oil and gas. The incumbent government should not hand it over foreigner investors,” said PPP Additional Secretary General Senator Raza Rabbani addressing a press conference. He was accompanied by PPP Senator Farhatulla Babar.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has time and again voiced against the incumbent government’s policy of privatisation but it was tackled with the answer that PPP in its era had taken approval from Council of Common Interest (CCI).

In order to counter this argument and launch full-fledged campaign, PPP Senator Raza Rabbani had written a letter to all chief ministers with reference to the privatisation policy of the federal government.

“I simply draw your attention, with reference to the privatisation policy being pursued by the federal government on its own, or in furtherance of the conditionalities imposed by the IMF on it,” said PPP leader, reading out the text of the letter written to the CMs.

“Most of the units being processed for privatisation are trans-provincial and fall within the purview of the federal legislative list, Part-II, in the fourth schedule of constitution 1973,” he argued, adding that on a number of occasions the superior judiciary including the Supreme Court has held that the policy of privatisation with reference to such units needs to be discussed and approved in the Council of Common Interests (CCI).

The PPP leader said that incumbent government should not argue about CCI’s old approval given by previous government as its unconstitutional. “There is need to take fresh approval from CCI and if any province is unhappy, it could refer the matter to its provincial assembly for discussion,” said the PPP leader, adding that small provinces should raise this matter in their parliament as this was matter of resources.

Giving reference of his letter to CMs about the old approval of CCI, Rabbani observed that since a lot of water has passed under the bridges it will be appropriate if the CCI reconsiders the matter.

“The federal government should be avoiding or relying on a such a decision and refrain from calling a meeting of CCI, as the 18th amendment allows province to call upon the prime minister to convene a meeting on an urgent matter,” he added.

“If your government is dissatisfied with a decision of the council, it may refer the matter to parliament, in a joint sitting, whose decision in this behalf shall be final,” he shared, what he wrote in a letter to the CMs. To a question, he said the government’s policy of in PIA employees to facilitate its cronies would not be acceptable. About PIA, he further said that government is unclear to privatise its 26 per cent shares or 51 per cent shares.

While the government is set to privatise PSEs including PIA, PPP is also demanding debate in the upcoming NA session on the government’s plan to lay off over thousands of employees of PIA. The PPP has submitted an adjournment motion in NA Secretariat regarding the recent retrenchment at PIA due to government’s plan to privatise it.