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Receivables, payable cases: PC seeks power to frame settlement rules

  • Wants to formulate comprehensive rules for settlement of outstanding receivables and payable cases for the approval of the Federal Government
Updated 12 Jul 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Privatisation Commission (PC) has sought powers to formulate comprehensive rules for settlement of outstanding receivables and payable cases for the approval of the Federal Government (Federal Cabinet) after conducting due process, well informed sources told Business Recorder.

Sharing the details, sources said, Privatisation Commission Board in its meeting held on 2 September, 2020, approved the Privatisation Commission (Appointment of Referee) Regulations, 2O2O and directed to publish necessary gazette notification. The Regulations were meant to swiftly resolve the post privatisation receivable cases pending in various courts since decades.

The approved mechanism for the purpose stipulates that such referee can only be appointed by the Court in a pending litigation with the mutual consent of the parties, decision of the referee becomes decision of the court and there will be no appeal or any other remedy against such a decision.

Further, use of this mechanism for resolution of such disputes is not mandatory but merely provides a legal basis and process for adopting such a mechanism.

During the notification process, the PC management observed the following: (i) the approved regulations are silent in respect of powers and functions of Referee and are limited to receivable cases only; (ii) whether there is any provision in the law(s) for settlement of receivables viz-a-viz the actual amount due; (iii) the settlements may decrease the receivable amounts from the parties involved that could cause financial loss to the public exchequer. Since Privatisation Commission is not the owner of the property/ SOE listed on the privatisation programme and its role is limited in nature, therefore, prior approval of the Federal Government is essential in case of making any such rules/ regulations/ mechanism being the rightful owner of the property/SOE; and (iv) consultation with Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights is required before formulation of the relevant regulations/ mechanism.

The sources said, after thorough review of the matter, the PC Management is of the considered view that since the regulations are not based upon sufficient legal stature, therefore, it will be appropriate to formulate rules in the matter under Section 40 of the Privatisation Commission Ordinance, 2000, instead of Regulations.

According to sources, the PC Board, in its recent meeting decided to revoke its earlier decision taken in 2020 and authorised Privatisation Commission to formulate comprehensive rules for settlement of outstanding receivables and payable cases for the approval of the Federal Government (Federal Cabinet) after conducting due process.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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