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Event Title: Senator Shamim Afridi, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Privatization Presiding over a Meeting of the Committee at Parliament House, Islamabad

Event Date: 2022-09-20

A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Privatization was held on Tuesday at Parliament House. Senator Shamim Afridi chaired the meeting; that was attended by Senator Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah, Senator Anwaar Ul Haq Kakar, Senator Anwar Lal Dean, Senator Molvi Faiz Muhammad, Senator Umer Farooq, Senator Saeed Ahmed Hashmi and senior officers of the Ministry of Privatization along with its attached departments and agencies. 

Issues taken up entailed Privatization Commission Annual Report and briefings on LESCO Privatization Program, Land of Sindh Engineering Limited and Pak China Fertilizer Company, Haripur KPK. Discussion on privatization of the Jinnah Convention Centre commenced, but was stalled due to the absence of Chairman CDA.  A Privilege Motion has been moved against him for referring someone else to respond to queries that were forwarded to him. 

Discussing the LESCO Privatization Programme, the Committee was informed that the process was approved by the Council of Common Interest (CCI) and was initiated to reduce ATC losses of each DISCOs to the level allowed by NEPRA and improve quality of service delivery and consumer satisfaction. After a tedious process of research and review the Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCoP) directed Power Division to write to all provinces through the Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) for negotiations in buying the concerned DISCOs that were nine in number by respective provinces.  The Committee took notice of the non-involvement of the Private Sector and stressed the need for its involvement in order to make the process more transparent. The Committee was informed that the Privatization Commission is unable to do much due to provincialization of the matter.  The Committee asserted the need for expediting the process. 

Deliberating over the $$* Acres of land of the Sindh Engineering Limited (SEL) in Kasur, the Committee was informed a significant percentage of the land had already been sold by ex-owners. The matter is now dependent on the decision of the honourable courts.  A detailed report had been submitted to the Senate Standing Committee on Privatization in its meeting on 22 July, 2022 and as per its recommendation on the matter it was asserted that PC may write a letter to the Honourable Judge of the Lahore High Court to request a early disposal of the matter. The Committee was informed that the Legal Counsel Privatization Commission has clarified that PC is neither the owner nor party to this litigation hence any such correspondence with the Honourable High Court may have a negative impact and may be perceived an attempt to influence the justice system.  Thus it would be appropriate if the Ministry of Industries and Production, being the administrative Ministry, may directly write to the Court.

Reviewing the Pak China Fertilizer Company, Haripur KPK the Committee was informed that matter was being pursued in the Islamabad High Court. PC is making all attempts to secure the interest of the Federal Government. The latest outstanding amount is being conveyed to the Court.  The Committee stressed the need to ensure that all transactions may accommodate inflation fluctuations, so that the State may not bear losses. Development of a solid mechanism was emphasized.