Published On: Sat, Jan 11th, 2014
Published in Category: Islamabad

FPCCI welcomes privatization, suggests caution

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ISLAMABAD: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Friday lauded the decision of Privatization Commission’s Board to divest government’s shares in five State Owned Entities (SOEs).

Transformation of state-owned assets into property of persons independent of the state will help government raise funds, reduce losses, cut budget deficit, improve exchange rate and boost the ailing economy, said Zubair Ahmed Malik, President FPCCI.

Speaking at a function, he said that privatization is the integral part of the on-going process of economic reforms which must be carried out very carefully.

Careful moves will help policymakers attack the economic crisis compromising national growth while negligence would be a disaster, he warned.

Zubair Ahmed Malik said that history of sale of national assets in early 1990s shouldn’t be repeated and control of institutions should be handed over to the new owners after realization of full amount. Pakistan still owes 800 million dollars to a foreign group.

Decision to restructure some sick entities hurriedly before sale may be dangerous to the interests of masses and the country, he added.

The FPCCI chief said that many entities have lands and other fixed assets which would be tempting for developers who would be least bothered in running the core businesses which must be tackled before sale.

Similarly, he said, a large numbers of politically connected managers as well as employees have remained a major bottleneck for profitability of bleeding enterprises.

The management control of all the privatised enterprises must be transferred to the investors who have the experience and expertise to run a business efficiently and profitably, said Malik.

Government can bypass defaulters and consider giving preference to the corporations that tops the list of loss-making entities and avoid selling profitable bodies in the beginning.

Observing caution and paying attention to recommendations will help government get rid of almost Rs 500 billion losses per annum which have remained un-maintainable and a threat to balanced budget.

Government must proceed carefully to avoid the charges of irresponsibility, nepotism, ensure transparency and guard rights of the workers to avoid repetition of events that took place after sale of Pakistan Steel Mills, demanded Zubair Ahmed Malik.
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