Home Latest News Shehbaz Sharif Seeks Swift Privatization of Loss-making SOEs

Shehbaz Sharif Seeks Swift Privatization of Loss-making SOEs

Prime minister stresses on early completion of process to help improve country’s economic situation

by Staff Report

P.M. Sharif chairs a meeting on the P.M.’s Ramzan Relief Package. Photo courtesy PID

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday directed all officials concerns to immediately enhance the capacity of departments linked with the privatization process, adding reducing this burden on the national exchequer will help improve country’s economic situation.

According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, the premier reviewed the complete list of all institutions involved in the privatization process, as well as their progress reports. He sought the submission of details regarding actions and goals with a clear determination of timeframes, stressing there was room for any delays. In this regard, Sharif also instructed the Privatization Commission and the ministry to submit in the federal cabinet—upon its formation—all pending issues related to privatization.

On a pending proposal to grant control of power distribution companies to provinces, the prime minister ordered the constitution of a review committee to examine the matter. He stressed the responsibility of the privatization process lay entirely with the Privatization Commission and the ministry, emphasizing the removal of all bottlenecks in the process.

Sharif said quality, transparency, and national interest would be paramount, adding there was a need to boost an environment of business competition and public service, as these were essential for any improvement. “Ministries and institutions should suggest solutions exhibiting professionalism and passion, as it is a matter of Pakistan’s betterment,” he added.

The Prime Minister’s Office statement said the meeting had reviewed the ongoing privatization process of the Pakistan International Airlines, House Building Finance Corporation, First Woman Bank, Roosevelt Hotel, Heavy Electrical Complex, power plants, distribution companies, Pakistan Steel Mills Corporation, and other loss-making institutions.

Ramzan relief package

Also on Thursday, the prime minister approved a Rs7.5 billion Ramzan relief package for impoverished citizens, facilitating them in acquiring essential items at subsidized rates from all 4,775 utility stores nationwide. According to a statement, the package would launch immediately and remain in place until the night before Eidul Fitr. It said the subsidy would facilitate around 40 million deserving families.

Under the package, a subsidy of Rs. 77/kg would be given on a 20kg bag of wheat flour; and Rs. 70/kg on ghee/edible oil. Overall, 19 items—including rice, pulses, sugar, and milk—would be provided at subsidized rates through utility stores.

During the meeting to review the package, Sharif directed all authorities concerned to ensure the highest quality of all subsidized items and keep monitoring their standard throughout Ramzan to ensure there were no deficiencies. He also directed the establishment of special sale points for flour distribution to avoid inconvenience for people. He warned strict action against anyone found hoarding essential items, noting this artificially boosted prices for consumers.

The prime minister, per the statement, directed the launch of a nationwide awareness campaign to ensure a maximum number of deserving families benefited from the package, adding a system should be launched for the immediate redress of any complaints.

Sharif also directed relevant officials to distribute a quarterly instalment of Rs. 10,500 to deserving people under the Benazir Income Support Program, and directed them to include an additional Rs. 2,000 per family in Balochistan.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment