‘Sarmaya Pakistan Co’ established to revive 193 public sector entities: Fawad


ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Thursday said that the federal cabinet has decided to constitute Sarmaya Pakistan Company to revive 193 state entities which are currently running in loss and for manage their affairs in an efficient manner.

Briefing the media after the cabinet meeting, he said that the revolutionary step was taken to incorporate the company to provisionally run the loss-making companies in the public sector.

He said that its board of governors will be headed by Prime Minister Imran Khan and will comprise three federal ministers, seven members from the private sector and it would present its recommendations to the cabinet for deciding a future line of action.

The minister said that the prime minister will brief the nation about the landmark achievements of the government during the first 100 days of the government on November 29. He said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had made major strides in its first 100 days, unlike the past governments which failed to come up to the people’s expectations in this specific period of time.

Fawad said that he had asked the Senate chairman to form a parliamentary committee to probe the alleged embezzlement of Rs42 trillion development funds given to the Balochistan government during the last 10 years and on this, he was being asked to tender an apology.

The minister said that the prime minister had great concerns about the Pakistani prisoners in foreign jails as the provision of legal assistance was the responsibility of the government. He said that the government was hopeful about the case of Dr Afia Siddiqui and was making all-out efforts for her release.

He said that the cabinet had decided that the decision of devolving the procurement process regarding e-governance should be reverted and purchases for this project would be done centrally. The cabinet also discussed the issue of tenure of top bureaucrats and there was a proposal that initially the secretaries should be appointed for six months on probation and after their satisfactory performance, they should be given two-and-a-half-year tenure without any transfer.

He said that the Supreme Court (SC) had given its observations in Anita Turab case and the prime minister had a clear stance that the bureaucracy should be depoliticised and their appointments should be done on performance and not on political affiliations.

After the discussion, a cabinet committee was formed, headed by Arbab Shahzad, which would present its report to the cabinet.

He said that Ilyas Khan has been given acting charge as managing director of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation. The cabinet also decided to allow import of 50,000 tonnes of urea to ensure the stability of its price in the market.

The cabinet decided the release of Rs230 million outstanding dues of media houses with the hope that they would also provide relief to the working journalists.

He said that Pakistan had a vibrant media and most of its employees were working on low salaries but time has come for the owners to change their business model as they could not run their organisations on government advertisements only.

The cabinet also decided to maintain the support price for 40 kg wheat at Rs1300 and deliberated the policy to dispose of one million tonnes surplus wheat.

The cabinet, he said, also discussed the issue of extradition of Afsheen Bux who brought her two daughters to Pakistan in violation Danish court orders and decided that a magistrate will hold an inquiry into the matter and present his report and after that, a final decision would be made in the case.

Later, replying to the questions of media persons, he said that politicians do make or ruin countries and previous ten years of governance in Pakistan were the best example of how a country is ruined.

He said that due to such politicians, people had lost their trust in them, but PTI was striving to restore the image of the politicians among masses.

Responding to a question about the abduction of SP Tahir Dawar, he said that out of 1,600 cameras of the safe city project installed during the previous regime, 600 were out of order and the rest were unable to read the number plates of the vehicles or recognise the faces of persons inside the vehicles.

He said that the martyred SSP was a respectable son of the soil and not only the government but the entire country was standing by the bereaved family.

He said that it was strange that when the PTI leadership talks about the corruption, the privilege of the house members is breached but the privilege of the masses is never breached by loot and plunder of national resources.

On the issue of National Assembly’s (NA) standing committees, he said that the opposition’s demand of audit of Nawaz Sharif’s government’s projects by his brother Shehbaz Sharif was ludicrous and could not be accepted.

He said that PTI’s stance was based on the principle that it had the right to nominate its chairman until the audit of PML-N era is completed. Later, when the time for an audit of PTI projects would come, the opposition would be given a free hand to appoint a chairman of its choice.