Government finalises new privatisation policy -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Government finalises new privatisation policy

By Mubarak Zeb Khan

ISLAMABAD, Jan 26: The government on Monday finalised a new privatisation policy which allows transactions of only 26 per cent shares of government entities with transfer of ownership and discard the previous government’s policy of strategic sale for raising money.

The proposed policy would also apply to all previous transactions not yet finalised for bidding, a senior official in the Privatisation Commission told Dawn on Monday.

The new policy was discussed at a Privatisation Commission meeting presided over by Minister for Privatisation Syed Naveed Qamar.

The official said that the cabinet committee on privatisation headed by Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani was expected to approve the policy in February.

The official said that under the new policy, the government would invite strategic investments in government entities and would not take up any strategic sale. The past experience showed that strategic sale only raised proceeds for the exchequer, but did not improve the performance of the entities, the official said.

“The target of the new privatisation policy is not to raise proceeds but to improve the performance of state entities and to attract strategic investments from the private sector,” he said.

An official statement said that a meeting of members of the board of Privatisation Commission headed by Naved Qamar approved the basic parameters of the new privatisation policy, which envisaged associating strategic investors from private sector for Public Sector Entities through public-private partnership mode to bring in best practices and the latest technologies to improve the performance and increase efficiency.

The concept of public-private partnership was reviewed and discussed in detail and it was decided that while ensuring transparency, all other aspects should be safeguarded through comprehensive documentation. This will enable the government to maximise the value of its equity.

Source: Dawn

Date:1/27/2009