GOVT. DETERMINED TO ENSURE TRANSPARENCY IN THE PRIVATISATION PROCESS
Feb 23 - Mar 01, 2009
Although, there is no restriction on local investors to participate in the privatization process, the government encourages the foreign investors to join with local partners.
For the success of privatization process, transparency, competitiveness and open system are pre-requisite. The Privatisation Commission is adopting these principles which pay dividends and restore confidence of local and foreign investors in Pakistan's economic policies. Privatisation proceeds during financial year i.e. 2006-07 were amounted to Rs 120 billion.
The State Bank reported that foreign investment without privatisation proceeds increased by 6.1 per cent during the first seven months. Till last year, $133 million came as privatisation proceeds of the PTCL.
Pakistan People's Party led coalition government directed the Privatisation Commission to adopt more innovative and proactive approach to cut down impediments and step up the privatisation process of the projects under process.
Sources in the PPP told Pakistan and Gulf Economist that for progress, development and expansion of public sector entities, the government has decided to promote the mode of Public-Private Partnership.
The Federal Cabinet, which met in Lahore on Wednesday (February 18), with Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani in the chair, decided that privatisation of different state owned enterprises would be carried out in a transparent manner.
The Cabinet decided that 26-percent shares of different entities such as SME Bank, National Power Construction Company, Pakistan Railways, Pakistan Post, PTDC's motels, Utility Stores Corporation and Kot Adhu Power Station, etc. will be offered to the private sector. The Cabinet decided that 12-percent shares of entities to be privatised would be offered to workers to promote public-private partnership.
According to Federal Minister for Privatisation Syed Naveed Qamar, setting privatisation proceeds target by selling national assets was not the priority of the present government, which was practiced during Shaukat Aziz era. The proceeds were used for budget deficit contrary to the PC law for utilising the proceeds including 90 percent for debt retirement and 10 percent for poverty alleviation programme. Unfortunately, the law was not implemented. He was of the view that now the privatisation process was so transparent that it has no match with any other ministry.
Analysts believe that the government need to revamp the entire privatisation policy and programme to make it successful and in the best interest of the people and the country.
The government's focus must be on improving the efficiencies, bringing in fresh investment by associating the private sector, increasing the revenues and the value of the government's share holdings in the entities through Public Private Partnership in accordance with the Privatization Commission law.
The Privatisation Commission should also revisit the Privatisation list to reprioritize them for processing in accordance with the new policy, they said. The privatization process must be continued through a consultative process with all stakeholders especially the workers and labor unions.
GLOBAL GREEN NEW DEAL
The estimated $750 million, or some 1 per cent of current global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), could spur significant returns, including stimulating innovation and job growth, slashing greenhouse gas emissions and making strides towards curbing poverty.
The 154-page "Global Green New Deal" report, written in consultation with experts from over two dozen UN and external organizations, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, was released as more than 100 Environment Ministers converged in Nairobi, Kenya, for UNEP's four-day Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum.
"Spent wisely and creatively [the stimulus funds] offer the chance to deal with the today's immediate crises and begin focusing and framing a response to those on the horizon from future food shortages, natural resource scarcity, energy security and climate change," said the agency's Executive Director Achim Steiner.
The new publication "represents an opportunity to accelerate towards innovation-led, low carbon, low waste Green Economy societies with decent employment prospects for many more millions of people," he added.
South Korea is putting nearly $40 billion, or 3 per cent of its GDP, towards its Green New Deal, which could generate almost 1 million new jobs, the report said.
For its part, China is expected to spend close to $600 billion on a fiscal stimulus package, of which it will dedicate $140 billion, just under 2 per cent of its GDP, for green investments, adding to its $17 billion renewable energy sector which already employs some 1 million people.
The United States will direct almost 1 per cent of its stimulus funds towards environmental restoration, making federal office buildings more energy-efficient, creating a smart power grid and other green measures.