ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday lamented sale of profitable national assets to bridge budget deficit terming it a roll-call of blunders. Policy makers are too much focused on reducing deficit which has pushed them into IMF trap, said Dr Murtaza Mughal, President of PEW.

Government should have initiated privatisation with the sale of unprofitable units after some reforms as sale of national assets amounts to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. 

Mughal said that quick sale of state-owned companies cannot be justified under any circumstances as earlier privatisations have never proved fruitful.

He said that turning around some units that are highly indebted and under-performing would have been a better option which was ignored due to short-term interests. Transferring ownership of our national assets may result in growing poverty, unemployment and eroded exchange rates as foreign investors would transfer profits overseas, he warned.

International financial institutions want to impose global economic order, a plan hidden behind attractive words like privatisation, deregulation, downsizing etc., he observed.

Mughal said that government has planned to cut supply of natural gas to CNG outlets in Punjab to one day a week on the pretext of supplying gas to power plants to minimise load shedding. Actually, he said, the decision has been taken on the behest of influential owners of the gas guzzling captive power plants.–INP