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ISLAMABAD: The government has transferred shares/ assets of seven profit making public sector entities to Pakistan Sovereign Wealth Fund (PSWF) to the tune of Rs 15.5 billion.

The ownership of the federal government in the assets of these entities transferred to the Fund include: (i) Rs 3.657 billion shares/ assets of OGDCL; (ii) Rs 1. 952 billion PPL; (iii) Rs 1.608 billion NBP; (iv) Rs 2.088 billion Government Power Holding Limited; (v) Rs 6 billion PDF limited; (vi) Rs 24.532 million Mari Petroleum; and (vii) Rs 416.634 million Neelum Jhelum Hydro Power Limited.

The establishment of a sovereign wealth fund aims to contribute to sustainable economic development through management of the fund and assets to achieve their optimal use according to the best international standards.

Govt to establish sub-funds under Pakistan Sovereign Wealth Fund: Ishaq Dar

The government claims that it is enabling the investor from a very serious effort launched through PSWF and sub-fund for agriculture sector, mineral sector to be followed by the establishment of an IT fund.

However, when contacted former finance minister Dr Hafeez Pasha said that government objective and focus should have been on privatising loss making entities through the establishment of the sovereign fund and the challenge remains foreign investment which is hard to come.

He regretted that the one of the oldest foreign companies- Shell Pakistan - has reportedly announced its decision to wind up its operation in Pakistan. He further contended that foreign investment was treated in a very harsh manner by the previous government and not allowed to repatriate profits.

As a result, investment is not coming from abroad and no one is willing to buy anything from Pakistan at this point in time. This might have been the reason the government wants to sell assets of profit making companies.

Diversification and broadening of Pakistan’s economy, attracting investment for developmental projects in the country, creating investment models which promote economic growth and infrastructure development in Pakistan and increasing savings are the major objectives of the Fund.

The law makes it mandatory that all major decisions including investment mandate are to be made with the approval of the Supervisory Council to be headed by the Prime Minister.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Azam khan Nov 23, 2023 10:48am
Could it be done through an executive order? Putting all eggs in one basket! The Senate of Pakistan needs to ask this interim government and Election commission should also inquire!!
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