Economics & Business

NA body opposes Privatization of Profitable Power distribution companies

ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Standing Committee on Privatization has strongly opposed Privatization of Profitable Power distribution companies as well as sale of 10 Percent shares of Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) at international market.

The committee has recommended Government to get rid off those corporations and companies who are a burden on national exchequer. The committee met under the chairmanship of Committee Chairman Malik Bilal Rehman in which Privatization of different corporations under Government’s Privatization Policy were reviewed in length.

Privatization Secretary Imtiaz Qazi told the committee that so far 167 corporations have been Privatized since 1991. Government, he said, has earned Rs. 476 billion through Privatization. Government, he said, intends to Privatize 58 more corporations and businesses, however, this year no corporation could be Privatized due to global economic meltdown and non interest of investors.

Secretary Privatization informed the committee that Army welfare trust has deposited first installment worth Rs. 213.3 million to buy Wah Cement Factory and second installment worth Rs. 213.3 million would be deposited at end of current month. Secretary Privatization Imtiaz Qazi told the committee that we are planning to move to international market to sale 10 Percent shares of OGDCL and we can get Rs. 500 million.

The committee adopted a stance that OGDCL is a Profitable corporation and it would not be good to sale 10 Percent shares of OGDCL. The committee has also decided to take legal suggestion from secretary finance and secretary law over the issue.

Secretary Privatization informed the committee that Government would get Rs. 225.7 million from already Privatized corporations. Heavy Electrical Complex and National Power Construction Company would be Privatized till September 2011, he said.

The committee has directed to expedite recovery from defaulters. The committee was informed that Government has finalized strategy to hand over 9 Power distribution companies including Islamabad Electric Supply Company but committee has rejected their Privatization.

The committee has also summoned Secretary Water and Power and Secretary Finance in the next committee meeting. The committee has also taken strong notice over utilization of Rs. 261 million in media campaign and Rs. 276 million to help flood affectees. The committee has sought details from Privatization board in this respect.-ONLINE

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Haroon Akram Gill

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