Asian Development Bank, Director General calls on Minister Privatization

Islamabad, March 16, 2018 (PPI-OT): Mr. Werner E. Liepach, Director General, and Central West Asian Department (CWRD) along with his team called on Minister Privatisation, Daniyal Aziz here in Islamabad today. Mr. Liepach is responsible for ADB operations in Pakistan and he appreciated the federal Minister’s active approach towards the privatisation of loss making State entities which include PSM and PIA. Federal Minister apprised the DG ADB about the progress made regarding privatisation of aforementioned entities.

Regarding PSM, Mr. Aziz said it is not an easy task as there are several challenges to get to the privatisation but the cost to the poor citizens is in 100’s of billions if we don’t move forward. Those making tall claims about postponing should also provide the cost. He further told that the CCOP approved a thirty-year concession transaction structure proposed by the financial advisors for the restructuring of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM).

The proposed structure includes a tripartite concession agreement between the government, PSMC and the investor for a period of 30 years on the basis of revenue sharing. According to the structure plan, PSM’s land will remain with the government while the plant and machinery will be leased, invested and then transferred back to Government for a maximum period of 30 years, while no asset of PSMC will be sold. It is the incumbent government which has come this far in the process for privatisation and transaction of proposed entities.

The major task before leasing the mills is to settle the liabilities through viable plan and for that various meetings with SSGC, NBP had taken place with promising outcome. The purpose behind this exercise is to isolate the mills from these encumbrances and hand it to the third party on lease. Each employee will be paid every penny in accordance with his preference.

Regarding PIA, Daniyal Aziz told the guests that national airline’s privatisation would be carried out according to the law and government will be holding management control along with 51% shares of the airline, he further added that the Prime Minister is positive about the plan and in recent CCOP and subsequent Cabinet meeting the approval was granted to go ahead with the privatisation of PIA and PSM.

Federal Minister emphasized that the employees’ interests are top consideration when it comes to the privatisation and they would not be left in a lurch in case of the privatisation of PIA and PSM. He reiterated his belief that privatization is in the best interest of the country which will bring economic progress by turning these loss making entities into profit making. Mr. Werner appreciated the minister for his hard work in this regard and he assured that ADB could extend financial and technical support to go ahead with these projects.

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