Privatisation Galore

2018-01-30T23:33:36+05:00

Ad hoc decisions are being made by the government near the end of the tenure. While one can see the ideology behind such measures, it is difficult to understand how these decisions will materialise effectively. The last such ad hoc decision was regarding the privatisation of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) in order to save the airline from incurring further losses. The economy has already been carrying the burden of their failed policies and only the authorities can explain how they will make up for those losses. An effective plan was required even if privatisation was the only option in this case.

Same is the result of the privatisation of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL). The Dubai based company, Etisalat, which acquired PTCL is yet to pay Rs 80 billion to the government. They have been using delaying tactics in paying the amount despite the contract clearly stating that the payment must be done as soon as the deal is sealed.

There is an ongoing riff between the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and the National Bank of Pakistan, which is preventing the privatisation of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM). If the Federal Minister for Privatization, Daniyal Aziz, claims that Rs 15 billion of PSM will be paid in the same year, then the riff needs to be sorted out soon.

These issues plaguing the institutions that are supposedly being privatised must be addressed first and in due time. A legitimate concern is whether pushing these decisions just to appease voters will result in actual results or just another problem the next government would have to deal with. The current government needs a very well thought out plan to prevent this from becoming a policy failure.

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