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This is apropos a Business Recorder news item “Tarin for swift privatisation of SOEs” carried by the newspaper on Saturday. According to it, Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin has emphasised the need to accelerate the pace of privatisation for bringing efficiency and competitiveness in operations of the State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs).

Privatising ‘selected’ SOEs is a good decision. But what is more important in relation to sell-off of these entities is ‘sanctity’ of timelines. How unfortunate it is that the sell-off process of country’s mega public sector entity, Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM), has been hamstrung by a variety of factors. There has been little or no progress insofar as the removal of these impediments to privatisation of PSM is concerned. The situation, therefore, brings under sharper focus the role of privatisation minister Mohammadmian Soomro. The question is whether or not the relevant ministry or its head have any concrete strategy aimed at expediting the privatisation process.

Jahanzeb Khan (Islamabad)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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