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Friday, July 23, 2021

Calls for reviving public sector enterprises

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Islamabad: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said Government can change the fate of people of Pakistan but revitalizing loss-making public sector enterprises. All autonomous organizations are incurring heavy financial losses and facing serious financial crisis because of political interference, mismanagement, inefficiency, financial ill discipline and over-staffing, it said.

These state-run institutions have become a big burden on the national resources and privatization process is admission of the fact by the government that it cannot bring them to profit, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW. He said that political will is needed to stop the drain these institutions are causing to the nation exchequer since decades.

Rulers need to revisit principles of profitability of commerce and trade and hold individuals responsible for objectionable practices which have deprived these institutions of ability to produce jobs and contribute to enhanced revenue collection.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that all such institutions should be free of political meddling and top officials should be appointed on merit. Professionalism must surpass political inclination in all the appointments, he demanded. These institutions should not be under the control of ministries where politicians and bureaucracy take decisions which are contrary to the supreme national interests.

Similarly, government should introduce a strong accountability system and take steps to ensure that people sitting on the Board of Directors (BoD) are known for dealing aboveboard in everything. Currently, he said, BoDs include yes men which have no contribution except acting as rubber stamp which is criminal, he said.

“Government can also consider giving seats to women in such BoDs which have low tendency to violate law for personal ambitions,” said Dr. Mughal. Such steps will help revive public sector institutions and give relief to masses that are paying for the endeavors of politically connected people.

This will not only add substantially to the government’s exchequer but will also bar government to sell national assets at throwaway prices, he said.

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  1. All public sector enterprises should be privatised in order to save approx. Rs.300billion annually. But the top bureaucrats and politicians would not let it happen. We need a courageous leader who can over-ride all of them and accomplish privatisation.

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