‘Pre­sen­ta­tion on PTCL pri­vati­sa­tion re­quired in cam­era ses­sion’

The Pak Banker - - 2national -

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

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