Caretaker govt empowered under law to expedite privatization process: Fawad

Fawad Hassan Fawad

ISLAMABAD, Sep 21 (APP): Caretaker Minister for Privatization Fawad Hassan Fawad, out rightly rejecting any special agenda, said on Thursday that the caretaker government was fully empowered under law to expedite the process for privatization of loss-making state-owned enterprises (SOEs), initiated way back in 2001-02.

Addressing a news conference along with Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi, he clarified that no addition was made to the privatization list, which was updated by the last successive elected governments.

He said the previous elected government had made necessary amendments in the relevant law empowering the caretakers to carry forward the privatization process.

Fawad reaffirmed that whatever authority the caretaker government was exercising, was within the ambit of law, as it was only completing the privatization process of SOEs, which was initiated by the last government but their transactions were not yet finalized.

The minister said that a time-frame was duly fixed to carry out the privatization of each loss-making entity that could not be skipped. He, however, dispelled the impression that he had been given a special task to shut down the operations of a certain organization.

He said that the Privatization Commission was taking steps to reduce the losses of certain SOEs, which were a burden on the national exchequer.

Fawad said when he took over the office, it was told that the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was facing financial crisis and needed funds to fully restore its flight operations, which were provided within 48 hours.

The minister advised certain elements to avoid rumours which adversely affected the financial performance and repute of state-owned enterprises listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange.

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