ISLAMABAD     -   Prime Minister Imran Khan has emphasised the need for raising non-tax revenue with continuous review of the timelines while removing bottlenecks in the privatization process. Chairing a meeting on privatisation on Friday, the Prime Minister directed the ministries and divisions involved in the privatization process to expedite the process and fast track efforts so as to ensure the execution of the process in an effective manner. The prime minister said that narrowing the loss incurring Public Sector entities and unlocking the capital market potential of the other capital intensive Public Sector enterprises is the top priority of the government as it would lead to revenue generation for investment in the social sector.

He said that privatization is amongst the top priority areas the present government is focusing upon; it will be ensured to capitalize the commercial potential of the public sector enterprises that has remained neglected for the past several decades. The meeting was briefed on the efforts being undertaken for the privatization of various state owned enterprises.

Secretary Privatization Rizwan Malik briefed the meeting that the privatization exercise is not only aimed at revitalizing the loss-incurring entities but also directed at enhancing the revenue potential of other ventures. The prime minister was informed that the privatization process of different public sector enterprises worth billions of rupees, including Haveli Bahadur Shah Power Plant, Balloki Power Plant, SME Bank, Services International Hotel Lahore, Jinnah Convention Centre, is at an advanced stage.

In addition to privatization of the hitherto identified public sector enterprises, process for the privatization of Guddu Power Plant, Nandipur Power Plant, First Women Bank, Pakistan Petroleum Ltd., State Life and other similar Public Sector entities has also been initiated, and significant progress has been made in this regard. The participants were apprised that privatization of some of the Public Sector enterprises will be completed in March 2020, and the corresponding non-tax revenue will be added by the end of the current Financial Year while the privatization of rest of the entities will be accomplished during the first quarter of the next Financial Year. The meeting was attended by Minister for Privatization Muhammadmian Soomro, Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information & Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Sayed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Nadeem Babar, and other senior officials of the Government.