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ISLAMABAD: Privatisation Commission (PC) has acknowledged that it is facing serious challenges in sell-off process of State Owned Entities (SOEs) due to incomplete information, well informed sources told Business Recorder.

Privatisation Commission is required to make recommendations to the Cabinet on privatisation policy guidelines, prepare a comprehensive privatisation programme and plan, manage, implement and control the privatisation programme under section 5 of the Privatisation Commission Ordinance 2000.

The PC is also required to submit report to the Cabinet on all aspects of the privatisation programme. The PC has faced serious challenges during the course of privatisation process of SOEs. It remains unaware of issues involving the SOE till after the receipt of due diligence reports of the SOE. Normally, these issues have serious repercussions for an entity's privatisation.

The PC, in its summary to be discussed in the forthcoming Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP) has further argued that resolution of these issues cause inordinate delays in the process of privatisation. It will be much better if the administrative Ministry of an SOE/asset proposed be included in the privatisation programme, provides information to the PC regarding key aspects of the business/ operations of the SOE/ asset.

In this way, the PC will be able to meaningfully contribute to informed approval of the privatisation programme. It will also enable the CCoP and Cabinet to make an informed decision regarding privatisation of any SOE.

The PC has requested the CCoP to direct the concerned administrative Ministry of an SOE/asset to resolve fundamental issues regarding the SOE/asset before including it in the privatisation programme.

Accordingly, PC has developed a model questionnaire for its preliminary assessment of any SOE/asset, as to the suitability of the same for inclusion in the privatisation programme.

CCOP has also been requested to approve the model questionnaire and direct all the Ministries/Divisions and SOEs to provide information required in the model questionnaire to the Privatisation Commission within 30 days from the date such request reaches the Ministry/Division or SOE.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020