‘Presentation on PTCL privatisation required in camera session’
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh have told the NA committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication that privatisation of PTCL required incamera session because there were a number of matters that would have hurt the brotherly relationships of Pakistan and UAE.
However, he briefed the committee about the process of privatization process with special reference to PTCL.
The minister who was previously the privatization minister told the members that several inquiries were carried out about this privatization transaction and the usual routine of privatization was changed.
He said Khawaja Asif, Fouzia Wahab and others were included in the privatization committee of PTCL and other public entities at that time.
After reaching consensus, privatization of the PTCL was decided - that was before the entity started incurring losses.
Two international renowned companies were hired to make privatization process in a transparent manner. In the meantime Privatization Commission was established, which was governed by prominent private members.
From government side Privatization Board was established, headed by minister of privatization and its decision would have to be approved by the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister himself.
The privatization of PTCL was unique in its status because as the days of privatization drew nearer, strong resistance erupted within the organization.
Powerful union of PTCL went a step further and created law and order situation. The PTCL union during the strike enunciated that they would cut off cables.
"The union was softened up by offering them attractive packages but there was still resistance by another party of the union.
However, these issues were resolved through hectic efforts," Sheikh told. After hectic efforts four world class companies expressed there interest to bring investment in Pakistan's PTCL.
During the time of bidding, three companies appeared including Etisalat of UAE, Singapore Telecom (which was consider as a form of comfort certificate for the government) and China Telecom.
Before the bidding usually a reference price was set for the transaction including minimum price for bidding.
The PTCL bidding process was held in a local hotel and live-telecast through PTV.
When the bidding was open, the Singapore Telecom offered $1.5 billion; China Telecom offered $1.167 billion while the Etisalat of UAE offered $2.6 billion.
It was a sense of jubilation for the government from Etisalat side of offering higher price for PTCL. However, on the same day, the minister said "someone informed me that official of Etisalat expressed confusion that why on earth they offered such a huge biding price."
The committee was informed that the CEO was not included in the bidding process and No 2 of the Etisalat Company carried out all the bidding process. The Etisalat wanted to present a revised biding price.
As there was a big gap between the highest bidder price and the second bidder - the Etisalat wanted to forward new proposal for the transaction of PTCL. -App
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture Nazar Muhammad Gondal giving certificate to position holder student during a ceremony at Preston University. -Online