ISLAMABAD        -            Pakistan has assured the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to complete the privatisation of two LNG power plants by the end of current fiscal year (FY2020). “Financial advisors were appointed for the privatization of two LNG fired power plants and the transaction structure was approved.

The authorities expect to finalize the process by end-FY 2020,” the IMF stated in its recent report on Pakistan. The government of Pakistan has also assured that government is following the process to conduct audit of public sector entities.

The government has stated that it had hired international auditors to conduct new audits of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Pakistan Steel Mills. Work is already underway to complete and publish the audits of the 2018 accounts by end-December 2019.

The government has engaged IMF technical assistance to support its ongoing efforts to develop a new State-Owned Enterprise Law.

“We plan to request technical assistance from international partners to start the work on classifying SOEs into companies for sale, liquidation, or retaining under state ownership (end-September 2020 SB).

The Ministry of Finance will lead this work, with support from line ministries,” the government of Pakistan stated in writing to the IMF.

It is worth mentioning here that the PTI-led government has planned to privatise 20 public sector entities in the first phase of its privatisation programme. The privatisation of loss-making Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has not been included in the first phase but Pakistan Steel Mills and two LNG based power plants are included.

The government is expecting to complete the privatization of two LNG power plants in next few months. The privatization of two LNG power plants including 1223 MW Balloki Power Plant, 1230 MW Haveli Bahadur Power Plant, SME Bank Limited would earn Rs300 billion for the government during current fiscal year.

The government had targeted to generate Rs800 billion from non-taxpayers during this fiscal year. Finance ministry had projected Rs300 billion from privatization of two RLNG power plants, Rs 200 billion from cellular companies and Rs 300 billion as State Bank of Pakistan profit while non-tax revenue projected from other accounts would be in addition to this.

The official further informed that government is also expecting to complete the privatization of some other PSEs including SME Bank Limited, First Women Bank Limited, Services International Hotel, Lahore and Jinnah Convention Centre during current fiscal year.