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CCOP approves sell-off 24 state-owned institutions

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The decision of the committee aims to promote growth and competition in private sector and enhance economic health

The Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCoP) has given nods in-principle to privatize 24 major government institutions including Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) over next five years.

The committee headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar was presented the Privatization Programme 2024-29 by the Ministry of Privatization, based on the recommendations of PC Board.

The Minister for Finance Muhammad Aurangzeb, Minister for Commerce Jam Kamal Khan, Minister for Privatisation Abdul Aleem Khan, Minister for Industries and Production Rana Tanveer Hussain, Governor State Bank of Pakistan Jameel Ahmed, SECP Chairman Akif Saeed besides federal secretaries of various ministries and division attended CCOP meeting.

The committee will finalize the approved comprehensive privatization of institutions in the next meeting. The committee said that the program aims to offload government loss making institutions to private investors to boost efficiency and reduce financial burden on the government.

In the meeting, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has been given top priority, followed by other government-owned entities such as Utility Stores Corporation, Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), and several power distribution companies.

Other institutions slated for privatization include Genco One, Genco Two, Genco Three, Genco Four, Roosevelt Hotel Corporation Limited, Pakistan Reinsurance Company Limited, First Women Bank Limited, House Building Finance Corporation, and Pakistan Engineering Company.

The consultation with the relevant ministries of the privatization process will be included to ensure a smooth transition. In addition, preparations are underway to finalize the comprehensive privatization program in the upcoming meeting.

The sources in the ministries said that an additional 40 strategic or essential institutions are under review, with their fate to be determined by the Cabinet Committee for Government-Owned Institutions.

Sources said the committee also directed Ministry of Privatization to deliberate the rationale provided by respective ministries for not including 18 SOEs in consultation with them and firmed up proposals regarding each shall be submitted to CCoP in its next meeting.

The privatization drive is expected to generate significant revenue for the government, which will be used to pay off debts and fund development projects. The move is also expected to improve the overall economic health of the country by promoting private sector growth and competition.

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