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The Privat-isation Commission has rescheduled the transactions that include the National Power Parks Management Company Limited (NPPMCL), the SME Bank, Jinnah Convention Centre, the Services Int'l Hotel (SIH) and sale of 28 properties for the next financial year. In a statement, the Privatisation Commission said that the transactions were meant for the current financial year but due to outbreak of the COVID-19 the timelines had to be rescheduled.

The federal government had budgeted Rs150 billion revenue through privatization proceeds in the current financial year.

Federal Minister Mohammedmian Soomro chaired a meeting, which reviewed progress on privatisation programme with special focus on some of the priority transactions.

The entities were selected for the Financial Year 2020-2021.

A revised schedule has also been shared with Prime Minister's Office.

It was apprised to the minister that despite lockdown situation transactional activities were continuing through technological means and pre-qualified bidders for the NPPMCL remained engaged, and they were provided necessary information and assistance in completion of buyer side due diligence.

However, it was noticed that pandemic situation has changed the overall macroeconomic outlook of the global economies, where Pakistan is not an exception, and this has affected overall privatisation programme.

Transaction structure of the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) is under consideration in the Privatisation Commission and will be discussed in the meeting of the Transaction Committee on Thursday 14th May 2020.

The federal minister reiterated that revival of the PSM is also one of the priorities of the government to minimize losses being borne out of the public exchequer.

The minister was updated that the financial advisor hired for the purpose has completed due diligence of the entity, and reports received in this regard are under review by concerned stakeholders.

Based on due diligence, the financial advisor has formulated a draft transaction structure for inviting expression of interest (EOI) from the potential investors.

The draft transaction structure is to be discussed during meeting of the transaction committee this week. The transaction structure will be placed with the Privatisation Commission board and the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP) for approval. The auction of 28 properties owned or controlled by the federal government will also be conducted as and when the Covid-19 situation gets better. The due diligence reports of the Higher Electrical Complex (HEC) transaction are being finalised and transaction structure is being developed by the FA Consortium.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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