ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Cabinet Committee of State-owned Enterprises (CCoSOEs) has decided to put up the final draft of the State-Owned Enterprises Policy, 2023, to the federal cabinet for endorsement.
Caretaker Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar on Thursday presided over a meeting of the CCoSOEs to conduct a comprehensive review and finalisation of the State-Owned Enterprises Policy, 2023, an initiative aimed at reforming and revitalising Pakistan’s state-owned enterprises.
The cabinet committee reviewed key elements of the policy in light of suggestions of the previous meetings, including governance structures, performance, and accountability mechanisms.
The interim finance minister stated that the State-Owned Enterprises Policy, 2023, represents a critical step towards restructuring and modernising our state-owned enterprises and economy.
Our objective is to reduce the size of SOEs in public sector as well as to make those which remain in the public sector to be more competitive, accountable, and responsive to the needs of our citizens, she added.
Akhtar said that this policy will pave the way for a more efficient utilisation of public resources and will enhance the overall economic landscape of Pakistan.
She underlined that inconsistencies, contradictions, and ambiguities in the relevant laws and rules have to be corrected to improve corporate governance in the SOEs.
She said that the code of conduct for Boards of Governance in the SOEs has to be formulated and implemented in letter and spirit.
The finance minister also emphasised the importance of enhanced scrutiny of the “fit-and-proper criterion” by the regulators.
Dr Akhtar also underscored the mismanagement of the SOEs due to which the status quo cannot be allowed to continue and dividends have to be improved through enhanced efficiency, transparency, and sustainability of state-owned enterprises.
The caretaker finance minister said the CCoSOEs and the Central Monitoring Unit have to play a major role to ensure business plans of the SOEs are in line with the sectoral priorities.
The final draft of the State-Owned Enterprises Policy, 2023, would be presented to the federal cabinet for endorsement.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Privatisation Fawad Hassan Fawad, Minister for Communication, Maritime and Railways Shahid Ashraf Tarar, Minister for Power and Petroleum Muhammad Ali, Advisor to the PM on Finance Dr Waqar Masood, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Jehanzeb Khan, chairman SECP, federal secretaries and other senior officers of the relevant ministries.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023