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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Privatisation, Mohammedmian Soomro Thursday said the Privatisation Division would complete the transactions of 4 to 5 entities by June 2021 out of 19 transactions which are under maturity.

Depending upon the circumstances, he said that 1 to 2 transactions may be completed by December 2020. He dispelled the impression that the current political situation would hamper ongoing privatisation process in the country.

Talking to the media on the conclusion of Standing Committee on Privatization held at the Privatization Commission here on Thursday, Mohammedmian Soomro stated that the privatization process would not be stopped even in any kind of situation of long march or protests because it is an ongoing process which would continue.

He stated that the due diligence process of the Pakistan Steel Mills had been completed. The financial advisor has submitted the transaction structure. There are many processes, which are behind the scene and under process, he added.

Responding to a question regarding delay in release of fund for Roosevelt Hotel a subsidiary of the Pakistan International Airline (PIA), he said JP Morgan had sold the loan of Roosevelt Hotel, New York, to a private company.

He said that the arrangement of loan was under process in the Finance Division. The Finance Committee decided to hold a meeting of all the stakeholders including power distributing companies, Ministry of Industries and Production to discuss the privatisation of the Heavy Electrical Complex to reach the root cause of performance of the complex.

"We need all concerned departments under one room to explain the situation," Chairman of the Committee Syed Mustafa Mahmud, MNA, stated after hearing a detailed briefing on Heavy Electrical Complex (HEC).

Dr Aisha Ghous Pasha informed the committee that we need to have a separate session with the management of the HEC to go to the bottom-line of the issue of privatisation of the Heavy Electrical Complex.

The Director-General Privatization Division gave detailed briefing on Heavy Electrical Complex, he informed, that Heavy Electrical Complex was a subsidiary of State Engineering Corporation (SEC).

The 96.6 percent shares of the HEC are owned by the SEC which is fully owned company by the government of Pakistan and is under administrative control of the Ministry of Industries and Production.

It was informed that over the years, the HEC has continuously last market share in the transformers manufacturing and sale which is even less than 5% in the recent year, whereas during last six years, company achieved around 30 percent of the orders in Power Sector for Transformers.

The Privatization Commission Board in its meeting held on 23rd September, 2020, considered the presentation made by the Financial Advisor on the Transaction Structure, it was informed that there are other manufactures present in the market besides direct import of transformers.

He also informed that the HEC had 18 regular employees. In a meeting held with the Ministry of Industries and Production, Co-Chaired by Minister for Privatization and Minister for Industries Production, it was proposed that these employees considered be absorbed in SEC parent company.

Chairman of the Finance Committee observed that it seems that the HEC has been intentionally weakened through proper planning. The HEC profit and loss summary showed that the financing cost has been doubled from Rs30 million in 2015-2016 to Rs64 million in 2019-2020, presentation to the committee revealed.

Dr Aisha Ghous Pasha stated that what has gone so wrong with the HEC during the last few years. The performance of the HEC has been deteriorated during the past few years. Whether there are structural problems, we need a separate presentation form the management.

The meeting was attended by Zulfiqar Ali Khan Dullah, Umer Aslam Khan, Khurram Shahzad, Faheem Khan, Syma Nadeem, Muhammad Ameer Sultan, Jamshed Thomas, Sikandar Ali Rahoupoto, Dr Aisha Ghous Pasha MNAs, Minister for Privatization, Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Privatisation, beside senior officers from the Ministry of Privatisation.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020