ISLAMABAD   -    The government is all set to privatise two power plants and First Women Bank Limited and the SME Bank in next few months, as the government has no other option.

The officials of Privatisation Commission have informed the parliamentary committee on the privatization programme of the incumbent government. A meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Privatization was held under the Chairmanship of MNA Syed Mustafa Mahmud for comprehensive briefing by Privatization Division and Energy Division.

Privatization Commission Secretary Rizwan Malik briefed the Committee over the privatisation of two Power Plants. The government had projected that the privatisation of two LNG power plants including 1223 MW Balloki Power Plant, 1230 MW Haveli Bahadur Power Plant and SME Bank Limited would earn Rs300 billion for the government during current fiscal year.

He apprised the Committee that the First Women Bank Limited and the SME Bank would be privatized because the Government has a fiscal deficit and there is no fiscal space and a strategic partner would be required for injecting capital. The Ministry has assured the committee that the special character especially of First Women Bank Limited would be maintained and majority employees would be protected. The SME Bank was making profit till 2008, but now it was running in losses. Dues of the SME Bank were Rs4 billion in 2014, which had now reached Rs11 billion.

The Chairman Taskforce on Power also presented the report of the Taskforce on Power in which he highlighted various points. The representative of the Ministry of Industries and Production briefed the Committee that Pakistan Steel Mill is a public Limited Company with a production capacity of 1.1 million tonnes per annum, its total assets are Rs149 billion, total liabilities are Rs219 billion, accumulated losses are Rs. 207 billion and its net worth is Rs70 billion. The accumulated profit of PSM   till 2007-2008 was Rs9.54 billion but after that it started suffering losses and its production was suspended in June, 2015. The bailout packages and other financial support of Rs87,611 million were provided by the government till October, 2019. The PSM has been placed on the active list of Privatization. The appointment of Financial Advisor has been approved by the Board of Privatization Commission.

The meeting was attended by Mr.Zulfiqar Ali Khan Dullah, Mr. Umer Aslam Khan, Ms. Shandana Gulzar Khan, Ms. Syma Nadeem, Mr. Jamshed Thomas, Mr. Sikandar Ali Rahoupoto Mr. Khurram Shahzad, Mr. Faheem Khan, Mr. Muhammad Ameer Sultan, MNA’s, Minister for Privatization, Parliamentary Secretary for M/o Privatization, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Energy beside senior officers from the Ministry of Privatization, M/o Energy and M/o Industries and Production.