ISLAMABAD: Saudi Minister for Investment Khalid A Al-Falih has sought intervention of Caretaker Minister for Finance and Revenue Dr Shamshad Akhtar for resolution of K-Electric (KE) issue, to enable to it to continue its operations.
He has made this request in a letter to follow up on his previous letter of 16 June 2022 to resolve long-standing issues with Pakistan’s power utility company, K-Electric Limited.
According to Saudi Investment Minister, Saudi Arabia is committed to deepening its ties with Pakistan, including through substantial investment, which it had made a national priority. Demonstrating that commitment, a major Saudi Arabian business entity, the Aljomaih Group, has invested in Pakistan.
In fact, Aljomaih is the largest single shareholder in K- Electric, through its historic investment in 2005 acquiring 72.5 per cent of the shares from the Government of Pakistan (GoP).
“Since that investment by Aljomaih, the company and its investors have re-invested al profits earned in the last 16 years back into this business, thereby creating significant value for the only private utility in Pakistan and considerably reducing the burden on the national exchequer,” said Al-Falih.
Nevertheless, despite the many short, medium, and long-term benefits GoP has received from Aljomaih’s investment in K-Electric, it appears that plans and commitments made by various national stakeholders in Pakistan remain unfulfilled.
Again, these include unnecessary in commercial agreements, unfilled settlement of large receivables and payables from various GoP entities and dubious regulatory decisions, he continued.
“Indeed, in our previous meeting, you committed to addressing this issue. In addition, numerous meetings have been held in the last several years to try to resolve the situation, including with the Finance Minister, the Privatization Minister, and the Energy Minister under the previous Government, as well as last year with the then Prime Minister, who assured us that an amicable solution would be forthcoming.
However, more than a year after raising these issues, I strongly regret that no progress had been made,“ Al-Falih continued.
Saudi Investment Minister has again requested caretaker Finance Ministering intervention to urgently address K-E’s issues, to enable it to continue its operations.
“I remain certain that a satisfactory resolution of this issue will enable Saudi investors to regain confidence to invest in Pakistan going forward. Aljomaih Group’s Chief Investment Officer, Shan Ashary, is available to meet in Pakistan and share further details and updates at your earliest convenience,” he said adding that he hopes and prays that brotherly relations will continue to make progress in the interest of both countries.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023