ISLAMABAD (our reporter):- Federal Minister for Privatization Mohammedmian Soomro chaired a review meeting on the ongoing privatization program in Islamabad.

During the last three and half year, the performance of PTI Government on privatization looks zero as it could not layoff any public entity except some plots and a hotel. Sources said that Mian Muhammad Sumroo is also under criticism as he could not achieve any target which was given budget. The Government estimates some amount from privatization of loss making entities.

Federal Minister was briefed about the entities from financial, industrial and power sectors on the active privatization list. For the sale of remaining Federal Government Properties, the FASA has been signed with M/s HLB ljaz Tabassum & Co. on December 28, 2021. For the divestment of 20 percent of government shares in Pakistan re-insurance Co. Ltd. the SLIC Management/ Ministry of Commerce has yet to confirm that they do not intend to divest 24.4 percent shareholding of SLIC in PRCL, to maintain strategic shareholding of Government of Pakistan in PRCL. The requisite information is awaited to proceed with the reevaluation of PRCL shares by financial advisors, which subsequently will be approved by PC Board and CCOP.

It was briefed that the EOIs for House Building Finance Company Ltd. (HBFCL) have been published and some parties have indicated their intention for submitting EOI, however the deadline is January 31, the privatisation process is likely to be completed in June this year.

The updated matter relating to the Heavy Electrical Complex (HEC) will be placed before the upcoming Privatization Board meeting.

The PC Board will also consider the pre-qualification of investors for Pakistan Steel Mills. The buyers’ side due diligence and opening of Virtual Data Room (VDR), which will be opened after approval of pre-qualification.

For proceeding with the privatisation of Sindh Engineering Limited (SEL), there are certain prior actions which are to be completed by the Ministry of Industries and Production including constitution of SEL board, valuation of assets, latest financials and other matters related to the land, the Privatization Board has already approved the hiring of financial advisors for the transaction of Sindh Engineering Limited.

Federal Minister was also briefed about the status of National Power Parks Management Company Limited (NPPMCL) for which the scheme of commercial borrowing has been approved by CCoP to replace the government’s excess equity. Following the approval of CCoP, the company’s management was furnished with draft EOI and RFP for approval. The NPPMCL Board, in its meeting held on 17 January, accorded approval for proceeding further. The process of re-financing will take about three months based on the response from the banks. In the meantime, the Ministry of Privatization has also started to initiate the process for sale of equity portion of NPPMCL, the process will run parallel to the debt- refinancing. ?

Regarding Jinnah Convention Center, issues need to be resolved by the stakeholders were also discussed in detail. Federal Minister urged PC team to proactively expedite all actions hindering the transaction of Jinnah Convention Center (JCC).

Federal Minister afterwards also chaired an important meeting regarding First Women bank Limited, in the important meeting financial advisors, CEO FWBL, audit firms Chairman BoD FWBL were present. The meeting was held to review the process of audit, as audits of FWBL are pending since 2018. It was also apprised that the audit of FWBL for the year 2018 has already been started by KPMG, which will be completed in March, 2022.

The privatisation team briefed the participants that the necessary approval for the appointment of audit firms and early completion of the same have already been approved by the Federal Cabinet after consistent follow-up of the Ministry. Federal Minister, Mohammedmian Soomro asked the CEO and Chairman BoD FWBL for the appointment of the auditing firms for FY-2019 to 2021 at the earliest and added that we shall work as a team to finish the audit in a minimum possible time to meet the privatization deadline.

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