ISLAMABAD: The government has selected 18 Public Sector Entities (PSEs) for privatisation, however it has not been able to privatise a single entity since 2018.

Sources said that the Privatisation Division may revise its target of privatisation budgeted for current financial year as it could not privatise any PSE due to technical issues, and the Covid-19 in the first three quarters of the financial year (July-March 2021).

The government has already delayed the major transactions for sale out of two liquefied natural gas (LNG) fired power plants.

The government was expecting to generate around Rs300 billion from the privatisation of LNG power plants.

It is delayed due to issues such as debt-equity ratio, granting income tax exemptions, and other related issues.

“The division is at advance stages of privatisation of various public sector entities, however, the process is slow due to the spread of Covid-19 in the country,” the sources maintained.

The division succeeded in selling the state-owned properties recently.

The division is optimistic that the government would achieve the target of generating Rs100 billion from privatisation during the current financial year.

The Privatisation Division is set to privatise at least three public sector entities in the last quarter of the current financial year (March-June 30, 2021).

The privatisation process of three PSEs including divestment of up to 20 percent shares of the Pakistan Reinsurance Co. Ltd, the SME Bank Limited, and Services International Hotel, Lahore.

The government had budgeted Rs150 billion from the privatisation programme in the last fiscal year 2019-20.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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