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Pakistan is selling all state-owned companies

Abdur Rahman Khan

The government of Pakistan has decided to transfer all other public companies to the private sector except strategic institutions.

The government of Pakistan has decided to transfer all other public companies to the private sector except strategic institutions. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif made this announcement on Tuesday.

In a report quoting the Prime Minister’s Office, Pakistan’s national daily Dawn said, this decision has been taken after checking the overall status of the production of goods and services and the profit earned by various government companies and economic institutions in the past few years. This plan will be implemented from the current year 2024 and all these institutions will be transferred to the private sector by 2029.

In a statement, the Prime Minister’s Office of Pakistan stated that this initiative is being taken mainly to save government money, “In the next 5 years, the government will leave all the non-strategic institutions and companies to the private sector.” This decision has been taken to save the money of the tax payers.

Incidentally, Pakistan’s public goods and services companies have been running at a loss for years due to lack of adequate allocations, mismanagement and corruption. Among these, some organizations including the government air service company Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) are doing well.

However, no government of the country has paid much attention to this issue before. There have been attempts to transfer companies to the private sector in the past, but most of them have not been successful. Islamabad is sustaining these companies despite the continuous losses due mainly to political reasons.

But many economic analysts believe that the country has been in an unprecedented economic crisis for almost two years due to the dollar reserves falling to the bottom. Last year Pakistan took a $3 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, the second largest organization in the world, after a lot of lobbying to restore the dollar reserves to a minimum normal level. Along with this, the government also promised to follow the various suggestions of the IMF.

IMF representatives met with Pakistani government officials in Islamabad on Monday for the second tranche of the loan. This statement came from the Prime Minister’s office on Tuesday after that meeting.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, a preliminary list of all government companies that will be transferred to the private sector has already been prepared. The list includes 25 companies including PIA, four power generation companies (two of these four have an annual power generation capacity of more than 1,200 MW), 10 power supply companies, the luxury Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan, New York and two insurance companies.

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