A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Privatization was held on Thursday at Parliament House. Senator Shamim Afridi chaired the meeting; that was attended by Senator Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah, Senator Rana Mahmood ul Hassan, Senator Anwar Lal Dean, Senator Molvi Faiz Muhammad, Senator Umer Farooq, and senior officers of the Ministry of Privatization along with its attached departments and agencies.
Issues taken up included a briefing by the Ministry of Privatization in light of the meeting on Cabinet Commission on Privatization (CCOP) on the Roosevelt, NY; SME Bank and the Services International Hotel. Lahore. Privatization of Sukkur Electric Power Company (SEPCO) was also discussed in detail.
The meeting commenced with a review of implementation status of recommendations made in previous meetings. After being apprised of details, the Committee was briefed about the CCOP meeting that discussed privatization of the Roosevelt Hotel. NY;SME Bank and Services International Hotel.
Reviewing the privatization status of the Roosevelt Hotel, the Committee was informed that the Government does not plan to put up the hotel for sale, but rather seeks a joint venture for prospective mixed use development as delineated in the PC Ordinance, 2000. TORs have been sent to the Aviation Division that is pending due to delay in the appointment of the Financial Advisor to key stakeholders that has been reinitiated by the Privatization Commission.
Discussing the privatization process of the SME Bank, Ltd the Committee was informed that CCOP considered the summary dates 24th December, 2022 submitted by the Ministry of Privatization and approved recommendations of the PC-Board in its meeting held on 25th November, 2022 regarding delisting of the SME Bank from the Privatization Program. Finance Division and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) will take on the matter further. A report will be presented to the Committee in the next meeting. The Committee recommended that the SME Bank may be attached with a reputed Bank preferably NBP.
Regarding privatization of the Services International Hotel, the Committee was informed that report of the sub-Committee that was formed by the Prime Minister under the Chairmanship of Minister for Privatization with representatives from the Finance Division, Law and Justice Division and Secretary Privatization Commission was submitted to the CCOP. Directions were given to re-submit the report after inputs from Law and Justice Division regarding conformity of rules and regulations of the process. The matter is pending with the Ministry of Law and Justice.
Taking up the matter of the privatization of the Sukkur Electric Power Company Limited (SEPCO), the Committee was informed that nine DISCOs were part of the process including SEPCO. The CCOP in a meeting held on 24th June, 2022 directed Power Division to write to all provinces through the Ministry of Inter- Provincial Coordination(IPC) for negotiations in buying the concerned DISCOs by respective provinces. Sindh has already begun the process of talks with the Power Division for acquiring HESCO and SEPCO.