ISLAMABAD - The government will make employees partners in some 80 State Owned Entities (SOEs) identified for Benazir Employees Stock Option Scheme (BESOS). Syed Naveed Qamar, Federal Minister for Petroleum, Natural Resources and Privatisation told this in a meeting of Privatisation Commission Board on Friday. He said that free of cost shares would be given to the workers of 80 public sector institutions including 16 listed and 33 unlisted public companies, 17 private companies and 14 SOEs established under special Act/Ordinance. The empowerment of the workers of State Owned Entities (SOEs) under Benazir Employees Stock Option Scheme (BESOS) is receiving encouraging response from the employees, the minister remarked. Addressing the meeting, he said that the scheme would usher in a new era of workers welfare as they were being given free of cost 12 per cent of the GoP shares in the SOEs and the entities already privatised. It will ensure the improvement in efficiency, quality and production, which will increase the value and profit of the company. The BESOS has become the hallmark of the governments workers friendly policies, he added. Syed Naveed Qamar lauded the efforts made by the officials of the Privatisation Commission for the effective implementation of BESOS in the shortest possible time. Under BESOS so far 12 per cent of GOP shares in Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC) and Oil & Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) have been distributed among all the employees of the entities. In OGDCL 438m shares worth Rs 36b were distributed among the employees free of cost, which will benefit about 10,576 employees of this unit from the scheme. Some of the companies selected for the scheme included Pakistan Petroleum Limited, OGDCL, Pakistan State Oil Company Limited, Habib Bank Limited, Pakistan Reinsurance Company Limited, Karachi Electric Supply Company Limited, Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited, Mari Gas Company Limited, Sui Southern Gas Pipelines Limited, Pakistan Engineering Company Limited, Pakistan International Airline Corporation, UBL, Pakistan National Shipping Corporation, National Bank of Pakistan and Kot Addu Power Company Limited. The PC board also approved the appointment of Merrill Lynch as the Financial Advisor for Jamshoro Power Company, a leasing transaction.