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ISLAMABAD: The business community while expressing grave concerns over the massive losses of around Rs1.4 trillion incurred by Pakistan’s state-owned entities (SOEs) over the fiscal years, 2021 and 2022, citing the latest consolidated report of the Ministry of Finance has said that SOEs financial losses are twice the size of the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) and it must be brought to an end to put the country on the path of economic recovery.

This was stated by Ahsan Bakhtawari, the president of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), here on Monday, while talking to a delegation of the business community at the ICCI headquarters.

He stressed that the government should work on a war footing for a comprehensive strategy to save the nation from the unnecessary financial burden of these loss-making SOEs.

He said that commercial SOEs should be a source of revenue generation for the government, but instead of contributing to the national exchequer, these SOEs have become a big drain on public finance.

The ICCI president said that all the major commercial SOEs of Pakistan are running in losses including PIA, Pakistan Steel Mills, NHA, Pakistan Railways, and DISCOs, which should be a cause of concern for the policymakers.

He said that with this huge amount of Rs1.4 trillion, the government can establish many hospitals, schools, colleges, and universities and spend on public welfare projects.

But, unfortunately, the government has to spend this huge amount to bail out the loss-making SOEs and this situation is depriving millions of people of better health and education facilities.

Bakhtawari said that PIA alone has reportedly accumulated losses of over Rs600 billion, growing at an average rate of Rs150 billion per annum. He said that PIA’s outstanding debt and liabilities have exceeded Rs350 billion, even after getting several bailout packages from the government.

He stressed that the government should privatise all the loss-making SOEs without wasting further time to save the nation from further troubles.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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KU Jan 09, 2024 02:15pm
We are a classic example of animal specie who grazed and over grazed the plains of grasslands, eventually when nothing was left to eat, they all died from starvation and also took down with them other species that depended on these grasslands. So, no amount of concern or hue and cry will rid the nation from these money eating SOEs, especially when they become personal servants to a particular brand of political setup.
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