Aug 23 - 29, 20

Punjab Privatisation Board (PPB) is a government entity dealing in property privatisation for the government of the Punjab. Punjab Privatization Board was formed under the Punjab Privatization Board Bill 2010 were passed by the Punjab provincial assembly on Feb 18, 2010, assented to by the governor of the Punjab on Feb 23, 2010 and published as an act of the provincial assembly through an extra ordinary gazette.

Punjab Privatization Board is headed by chairperson and has board of directors for management of its affairs. Punjab Privatization Board is offering properties for sale through Privatization Board, Regional Privatization Committee (RPC), and District Privatization Committee (DPC).

Punjab Privatization Board is headed by Nazar Muhammad Chohan, Chairperson while Muhammad Ashiq is the Secretary of the board.

A spokesman of the Punjab Privatization Board told Page that the board carries out a competitive, fair and transparent process for effecting price of the properties of the government, and provides mechanism to resolve disputes relating privatisation and provision for ancillary matters. He said transparency, no favoritism, and crystal clear process are yard stick of Punjab Privatization Board.

Talking about the mission statement of the board, the spokesman said one of the prime responsibilities of a democratic government is that it works "for the people" as it happens to be a government "of the people" and is run "by the people" (their representatives).

The Punjab privatisation board adheres to this creed of democracy as its mission. Thus, one of the prime duties of the PPB within its scope and sphere is to convert its lands and properties, lying redundant and serving no purpose to its citizenry, into productive assets of its people. The PPB mission is, therefore, to ignite many more engines of economic activity and, at the same time, redirect the proceeds as succor to its development so that people may lead a more beautiful life. Instead of holding on to its surplus land, prime land, urbanised land, the PPB has been tasked to enable people to make the best use of such assets through production and industry, tilling and farming, commercial and corporate activity, he said.

He said the developed nations of the world went on a trajectory of progress when they converted their barren lands into fertile belts, industrial houses, and projects of commercial entrepreneurship. The Punjab government invites people to come forward, takes away what the government can offer, and adds value to it by their investment, skills, knowhow, and input of their hard work. The PPB dedicates its services to making a difference in the life of people of Punjab, he said.

According to sources, the board has so far auctioned as many as 140 real estates against sale proceeds of Rs3,291.427 million. Stay orders have been issued against 29 properties and 283 properties are available for auction.

According to sources, some of the major deals include: a plot of two kanals in Hafizabad (sold for Rs220 million), a piece of 16 kanals in Sargodha (sold for Rs290 million), 12 lots of 200 acres in Hasilpur-Chishtian Bond area (sold for Rs820 million), a rest house in Fazilpur near Rajanpur (sold for Rs130 million), a piece of land on Sahiwal-Arifwala Road (sold for about Rs190 million), another rest house in Rahim Yar Khan (sold for Rs75 million), a rest house and a piece of land in Kasur (sold for Rs100 million).

According to Senior Advisor to Chief Minister Punjab Sirdar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa, who also heads the cabinet committee on privatisation, the officials of Punjab privatization board have been asked to auction the public property after proper assessment, through advertisement and open bidding in a transparent manner. He also directed that official property situated in rural areas should be auctioned after advertisement and publicity at local level so that the interested local people may participate in the open biding.

According to sources, the Punjab privatization board is facing various issues such as possession of the vacant government properties by Qabza groups or persons who had fake documents in connivance with certain officials.