Barring ‘strategic entities’, Pakistan to pursue privatisation of all SOEs: PM Shehbaz

  • In official statement, premier says govt should not be in business of doing business
Published May 14, 2024

Apart from strategic entities, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif announced the privatisation of all state-owned enterprises (SOEs) on Tuesday.

As per a statement released by the Pakistan government, the development came after a review meeting chaired by the premier on matters related to the Ministry of Privatisation and Privatisation Commission in Islamabad.

During the meeting, the ministry presented the roadmap for the Privatisation Program 2024-2029.

PD finalises 5-year privatisation programme

While addressing the session, Prime Minister Shahbaz said privatization of all SOEs other than strategic ones will be carried out, “whether they are in profit or loss-making”.

The statement neither specified the ‘strategic’ nature of SOEs, nor the entities the government wished not to be privatised.

As per the statement, the prime minister directed all federal ministries to cooperate with the Privatisation Commission and conduct all necessary measures in this regard.

“The government’s job is not to do business but to ensure a business and investment-friendly environment and to provide facilities in this regard,” the PM was quoted as saying.

Shahbaz Sharif said privatising the SOEs will save taxpayers money, which will be utilised to improve the quality of services.

“Transparency should be a top priority in the process of privatisation,” he said.

In the meeting, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif directed to televise the bidding and key stages for privatisation of Pakistan International Airlines Limited (PIA).

The PM was informed that the pre-qualification process for the privatization of PIA will be completed by the end of May.

Moreover, it was informed that the process of consultation regarding the disinvestment of the ownership of the Roosevelt Hotel in United States, a key asset of PIA, is ongoing.

The meeting presided by the Prime Minister was also informed that First Women Bank Limited is working on a government-to-government transaction with the United Arab Emirates.

The development comes after an International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission opened talks in Islamabad for a new long-term Extended Fund Facility (EFF) following Pakistan’s completion of a $3 billion Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) last month.

The government’s privatisation of SOEs remains one of the key conditions assigned by the Washington-based Fund to avail a new programme.


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Aamir May 14, 2024 02:20pm
Nothing is strategic. Privatize all of them and get the burden off the tax payer. Where there is no buyer give a golden handshake and close it down.
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Usman May 14, 2024 02:30pm
Privatise all of them.we should not be paying for pensions.Enough of it.
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Amran Arshad May 14, 2024 02:41pm
Cant u find honest official s to run these entities if really not than reduce ur bureaucrats and go Afghanistan model fr running d country and i assume all savings of reduced beaureucracy u will able to run d country more effectively
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NotSurprised May 14, 2024 03:00pm
OGDC and PPL are treasures of Pakistan. Their stock prices are less than half of their book value, and possibly 1/4th of replacement cost. Be sure to privatize all else, but not mineral wealth!
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Maqbool May 14, 2024 03:16pm
Excellent but define strategic ones, in Pakistani it can be anything isloo wants, even a panwalls, a naan walla etc to suit some vvip needs. Clarity is to list those strategic ones on day one .
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KU May 14, 2024 03:25pm
The Rs.1.4 trillion annual loss making SOEs must be privatized, if Pakistan is to survive. Merge govt ministries/departments and downsize the 3.2 million useless baboos who thrive on ''zakat''.
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zh May 14, 2024 08:56pm
Shehbaz had to tow the Dar's Stand - no surprise here.
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Imran May 14, 2024 09:02pm
If honestly governed all rich 1000y bangelows should b levied supertax fr once one million each, to make ur tax targets achieved but interst rates shd b reduced imm to let economy flow and SME s can survive, urgent needed measures
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