PIA, Pakistan Steel to be privatized within next six months: PC chairman

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Privatization Commission Chairman Muhammad Zubair said on Thursday that several state owned entities including Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Pakistan Steel Mills and Lahore and Faisalabad electric supply distribution companies would be privatized within the next six months.

He said other entities to be privatized during next six months included Kot Addu Power Company (KAPCO), State Life Insurance Corporation and Mari Gas etc.

He said that up to 70 per cent of the privatization process of the state owned entities has been completed by the Privatization Commission.

“Before inviting the letter of intent, transaction structure of the process would be submitted to the Cabinet Committee on Privatization for approval” he said while addressing participants of the Pakistan Investment Conference held at a local hotel.

Zubair said the road shows for selling off the state owned entities (SOEs) would be organized in different countries including Turkey, China and Russia to attract foreign direct investment.

The PC chairman asked the local and foreign investors to take benefit of the government’s investment and privatization policies and come forward to invest in Pakistan as the law and order situation has improved considerably.

Moreover, he said, the prime minister is taking personal interest in promoting business activities in the country.

He said that the letter of intent for Faisalabad Electric Supply Company has already been sought from the private sector.

He said the Commission had been working on the privatization of these entities for the last 18 months and the process had been sped up on the directive of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

He said the public sector entities were being privatized to improve the quality of service for the people.

The chairman said the most important task would be to ensure improvement in the services of these entities after privatization.

Responding to a question, he said that so far 150 entities have been privatized since the start of the privatization process in 1991.

He admitted that the process was very slow in the past, however, he said, the present government was taking keen interest to expedite the process.