ISLAMABAD: A three-member Ministerial Committee has asked Privatisation Division to seek advice from the Ministry of Law and Justice on whether any change in shareholding of KES Power requires National Security Certificate (NSC), well informed sources told Business Reorder.

The ministerial committee, composed of Minister for Energy (chair), Minister for Privatisation, and Minister for Law & Justice, has been assigned to assess any specific interest of the GoP in the matter of K-Electric (KE) regarding shares dispute and suggest a viable future course of action.

The committee is also evaluating the proposal of Privatisation Commission (PC) that AI-Jomaih’s issue of transfer of K-electric shares be assigned to International Dispute Cell of Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP). The committee held its first meeting on October 25, 2023 with Minister for Petroleum and Power, Muhammad Ali in the chair and discussed different issues related to KE’s shareholding issues.

Move to settle Al-Jomaih-KES dispute: Ministerial body to meet on 16th

“The Committee, inter alia, decided that Privatisation Division shall seek advice of the Ministry of Law and Justice as to whether any change in the shareholding of KES power, directly or indirectly, mandatorily requires acquisition of National Security Certificate from the seller (Government of Pakistan) in terms of provisions of Share Purchase Agreement (SPA), signed between the President of Pakistan for and on behalf of Islamic Republic of Pakistan represented through the Privatisation Commission, Ministry of Privatisation and Investment, Government of Pakistan and KES Power (and others), of November 14, 2005,” the sources added.

Meanwhile, Additional Attorney General for Pakistan, Rashdeen Nawaz Kasuri has informed Secretary Law and Justice that two suits (on the issue of K-Electric) are pending at Karachi. One suit bears number 1731/2023 and the other 1477/2023. The case first came up for hearing on October 18, 2023 and was adjourned for October 26, 2023.

On that date, both suits were adjourned for November 21, 2023 for arguments on pending applications. According to Additional Attorney General, he has been briefed in person by Law Minister and subject to any further briefing or direction by him in this, he will argue the matter on the next date of hearing.

On September 12, 2023, Ministry of Privatisation had shared a self-explanatory note of Ministry of Law and Justice with the Power Division in which the latter stated that suit No 1731/ 2022 relating to KES Power and K-Electric Ltd, is pending before the Sindh High Court at Karachi.

The Law Ministry, sources said has advised Privatisation Ministry to pursue the said civil case, vigilantly. Further, since the matter has strategic importance, the Legal Counsel representing Privatisation Ministry may be instructed to request the Court to maintain the interim order passed in the civil court.

The sources said Government of Pakistan is facing a catch22 situation with regard to KE’s shareholding issue, as on one hand the stance of Al-Jomaih enjoys full backing of Saudi Government including Prince Muhammad Bin Salman and on the other the KES Power has obtained an order of a court in the Cayman Islands. Prime Minister’s Office has also asked the concerned Ministries to keep a close eye on proceedings at the court in the Cayman Islands.

The sources said that the issue of shares transfer of KE also came under discussion at a meeting of Executive Committee of Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC). On October 4, 2023, Shan A Ashary, the Saudi Group’s investment advisor and ex-Chairman KE told media that Shanghai Electric Power (SEP) has renewed its commitment to acquire 66.40% shares in K-Electric, adding that new deal with SEP should go up to $ 2 billion now instead of earlier offer of $1.77 billion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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