ISLAMABAD-The Privatisation Commission board on Wednesday mulled over selling 10 percent shares of Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL). The Privatisation Commission (PC) board, which met under the chair of Federal Minister for Privatization Mohammed Mian Soomro, has considered the proposal submitted by Ministry of Energy to attract investment from international exploration and production (E&P) company in OGDCL by increasing the divestment of government owned shares up to 10 percent instead of earlier decision of up to 7 percent by CCoP. The Board also gave due consideration to the recent stability of crude oil prices in international markets, share price trends of OGDCL and its higher dividend yield ratio.

In August 2019, the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP) had decided to divest up to seven percent shares of the OGDCL. Later in February 2020, the CCoP directed stakeholders to discuss and submit recommendation on the proposed divestment of OGDCL shares after the Prime Minister Imran Khan stressed privatisation process to accelerate. The government is considering stake divestment to strategic investors, especially international exploration and production companies. The government places importance to this option, which is very beneficial to increase non-tax revenue to be used for retiring the swelling national debts, officials informed.

The PC Board has also considered the legal and other impending issues in privatization of PECO and deferred further action till 20th August, keeping in view the commitments of resolution of Minister for Industries and Production; given in the meeting held on 22 July, 2020; which was co-chaired by Minister for Industries and Production and Minister of Privatization. The board meeting also approved to sell the Jinnah Convention Centre for commercial purpose. The land alongside the convention centre could also be used for commercial purpose. In the meeting, matters relating to JCC were finalized and the transaction structure would be taken before CCoP. The Board approved few directions/guiding rules for transaction manager(s)under Part VII &Article (35) of the PC Ordinance. The guidelines will help transaction consultants in carrying out their responsibilities in a better manner.