The Senate Standing Committee on Privatisation has decided to privatise LNG powered power plants by March 2022.

The decision to privatise power plants was taken in a meeting of Senate Standing Committee presided over by Senator Shamim Afridi on Thursday.

The Privatisation Commission officials told the committee that investors could not come to Pakistan due to coronavirus pandemic to part in bidding.

Hopefully, international investors will pay a lot for the power plants, said the officials.

Federal Minister Muhammad Mian Soomro said the privatisation process of three institutions would be completed in six months.

The Standing Committee was informed that the PIA, Railways and the Steel Mills incurred the heaviest losses.

Privatization Commission Secretary Rizwan Malik told the Senate committee that 172 companies have so far been privatised and a total of Rs648 billion has been generated through the process.

He said the privatisation proceeds have been deposited in the treasury. Ninety percent of the amount

has been spent on debt repayment and 10 percent on poverty alleviation.

Senate committee members expressed anger at the sale of PTCL assets at low prices. They suggested that there should be a body to review the privatization process and ensure transparency.

Committee member Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar expressed the doubt that someone in the privatisation board protects the interests of the buyer.

Minister Muhammad Mian Somro told the committee that Privatisation Commission Board, Cabinet Committee on Privatisation and Cabinet takes decision regarding privatization.

He said it takes one and a half to two years to privatise an institution.

The government owns 212 institutions and foreign debt is repaid by selling government assets, said the minister.

The Senate Committee postponed discussion on Privatisation Commission Amendment Bill 2021 till next meeting.


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