ISLAMABAD - Minister of State for Privatisation Muhmmad Zubair on Tuesday said that the government would generate 4 billion dollars through privatisation process during ongoing financial year 2014-2015, as the government planned to privatise more than a dozen public sector entities this year.

“The government does not want to generate money only from privatising the public sector entities but it also wants to improve the services of these entities with public-private partnership mode”, the state minister said while addressing the second day of the International Investment Conference. The amount to be generated through privatization process could enhance to four and a half billion dollars if country’s situation remains stable, he added.

By resolving two issues of militancy and power crisis, the country could save four percent of the GDP every year, he remarked. In his presentation to the foreign investors, the state minister said that government has huge privatization plan wherein foreign investors could invest. The government would privatise OGDCL by next month (November), Allied Bank Limited in December, Habib Bank Limited in March next year, and LESCO, IESCO and FESCO in June next year, he added.

Muhmmad Zubair further informed that privatization of Pakistan International Airlines and Pakistan Steel Mills would be made in October next year. The country’s situation is neither as bad as presented by private news channels nor as rosy as showed by Karachi Stock Exchange, he briefed the foreign investors.

Two days International Investment Conference concluded on Tuesday, which was attended by more than 240 foreign investors that was termed successful by the government. Organizing a conference in Pakistan is the big achievement of the government, said Information Minister Senator Pervaiz Rasheed while addressing a press conference along with Chairman Board of Investment Dr Miftah Ismail. Senator Pervaiz Rasheed said conference was successful more than our expectations. The economic progress and development was halted due to the sit-ins. Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid said the government will accelerate the pace of development to overcome the problems caused by the sit-ins during the last three months. The government will make its best efforts to timely complete the projects, which have been affected by the sit-ins, he added.

He said holding of the investment conference is proof of the government’s intention to implement the agenda of development at a fast pace. The Information minister said investors are taking keen interest in investing in different sectors in the country.

Dr Miftah Ismail said that government’s functionaries have briefed the foreign investors on the investment opportunities in Pakistan.

Earlier, addressing the conference, Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar said that no obstacle or hurdle in investment would be tolerated and no one will be allowed to play negatively with the economy and the bright destiny of our country. Pakistan’s Constitution, laws and governance structure protects foreign investment, he added.

Talking about the setbacks due to the sit-ins, the finance minister said government will not only meet the medium-term economic targets but also give the country’s economy the right direction and put it on the path of sustainable and inclusive growth. “National interest is supreme and we shall pursue economic development of the country no matter what the impediments are. Recent events have indicated that democratic system has gained sufficient strength in the country to overcome such self-created difficult times’ he remarked.

Referring to the investment opportunities, Senator Ishaq Dar there is potential for making foreign direct investment in power, LNG, gas, infrastructure development and petro chemicals sectors. In addition, textile sector would attract local investment in the country owing to GSP Plus status given by European Union at the beginning of this year. Finally, other sectors in manufacturing like electrical machinery, electronics, transport equipment (automobiles), rubber and rubber products, metal products and leather and leather products have potential to attract foreign investment into the country.

“We are now moving to disinvest OGDCL shares worth around $800 million while work on issuance of International Sukkuk for $1 billion is also underway”, remarked the Finance Minister.

Addressing the conference, Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan said Pakistan’s inclusion in the GSP Plus scheme has provided the much required impetus for both local and foreign investors to take advantage of this significantly profitable opportunity. Besides this, like other countries Pakistan has also entered multiple bilateral and plurilateral trading arrangements with the objective integrating its economy with the region. The consequent example being; the South Asia free trade agreement having eight members state, the Pak China free trade agreement and the Pakistan Malaysia comprehensive economic partnership agreement.

Addressing the conference, Minister of State for Information Technology and telecommunication Anusha Rehman said the government is offering special incentives for production of mobiles in the country. We are already engaged with the China mobile for production of local mobiles through public private partnership. The Minister of state said land has also been acquired for establishment of technology parks in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi. These parks will also provide opportunities to the investors to invest their capital in.