Increasing non-tax revenue govt’s top priority: PM

Privatization for strengthening economy


PM for privatization of identified SOEs within time-frame
Privatisation aims at saving national coffer from daily loss of millions of rupees
Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday directed the Ministry of Privatization to conclude the privatization of the already identified institutions within the time-frame, assuring for the provision of all out resources to get the process accomplished.
Addressing a meeting to review the progress on the privatization, the prime minister directed all the ministries, associated with the privatization process, to extend their maximum cooperation and contribution to the process. He also called for keeping the Prime Minister’s Office updated on the progress in the privatisation and removing all the bottlenecks immediately.
He said it will help to ensure provision of health, education and other facilities to the people. The Prime Minister said increasing the non-tax revenue is among top priorities of the government.
He said the privatisation process aims at saving the national coffer from daily loss of millions of rupees besides handing over under-performing institutions to capable people, so that these are fully utilized according to their real potential.
Imran Khan rejected the impression that government only wants to get rid of loss making institutions through privatisation. Minister for Privatization Mohammed Mian Soomro, Finance Advisor Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Special Assistants to Prime Minister Nadeem Babar, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and Syed Zulfiqar Ali Bukhari besides Secretary Privatisation Rizwan Malik and other senior officers attended the meeting.
The Secretary Privatization presented to the Prime Minister a report on the progress in the privatization of public entities. Briefing the Prime Minister, he said the privatization process included the organizations which had either been inflicting constant loss to the national kitty or performing below the capacity. Moreover, the public properties which had been lying unused or making no profit for years had also been included in the list, he added.
The Prime Minister was apprised that the preparation for the privatization of Haveli Bahadur Shah Power Plant, Balloki Power Plant, SME Bank, Services International Hotel Lahore and Jinnah Convention Center was in final stage. The international parties had also shown their interest in the privatization of the said entities, he added.
Moreover, he said the privatization process of Guddu Power Plant, Nandipur Power Plant, First Women Bank, Pak Petroleum Limited and State Life Corporation had also been initiated.
The Federal Secretary also apprised the meeting about the sale of the valuable properties held by different ministries and government departments. In his remarks, the Prime Minister said it was among the government’s priorities to enhance the non-tax revenue.
He said the objective of the privatization was to save the national kitty from future losses besides handing over the low-performing institutions to the capable hands to exploit their true potential.
The Prime Minister ruled out the impression that through the privatization process, the government was trying to get rid of the loss-making organizations. He said the privatization process would help improve the performance of the organisations concerned which had not been doing well since years owing to blithe lack of concern by the respective governments.
The Prime Minister viewed that the privatization would increase the government’s receipts particularly the non-tax revenue to help the government launch the more public welfare projects in education, health sectors and provide amenities. Eelier, addressing the signing ceremony of 310 Mega Watt Super-6 wind power project here, the prime minister said short-term planning of previous governments to set up power stations running on expensive imported fuel was the main reason behind electricity crisis.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said the government’s year 2030 target of 30 percent renewable energy to be added to total power generation would ensure affordable, sustainable and clean electricity for Pakistan, currently facing high risks of climate change. The International Finance Corporation of the World Bank as lead arranger will provide $320 million long-term debt financing to six companies to set up wind power plants under Super-6 costing total of $450 million. The companies include ACT2Wind, Artistic Wind Power, DIN Group, GAEL, Metro Power and TriCom.
Imran Khan expressed satisfaction over the signing of wind power plants in line with the government’s vision of clean energy, which he said was relevant for Pakistan due to its greater vulnerability to climate change and melting glaciers. He thanked the World Bank and IFC for resuming the almost elapsed project due to negligence by the previous government and said the financed wind projects would ensure cheap electricity for consumers for their non-reliance on imported fuel.
The prime minister said the government faced tough economic challenges by inheriting $120 billion fiscal deficit, however overcame these difficulties with resilience and prudent policies.
He spoke high of his economic team whose tireless efforts resulted in gaining strength of rupee, showed positive market trends, increased exports and restoration of investors’ confidence.
He also lauded relevant departments on recovery of Rs120 billion by hitting at those involved in theft of electricity.
He said the bottom line of his government’s economic policy was ensuring trickling down of benefits of any project to the common man. The Prime Minister stressed upon the importance of wealth creation with proper taxation to transfer the monetary impact to the grassroots level.
Federal Minister for Energy Omar Ayub said 8,000MW would be added to national grid generated through renewable means by 2030, which would boost industrialization and ultimately employment for locals.
He mentioned that $130 billion market of renewable energy in Pakistan had immense potential and said setting up of wind and solar panels would develop an ecosystem with clean energy.
IFC Regional Head Nadeem Siddiqi said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s encouragement of private sector in renewable energy would help bring greater investment. He also lauded WB Country Director for Pakistan Illango Patchmuthu for the support of wind power projects.
Adviser to PM on Energy Nadeem Babar said Pakistan had a bright future as it was set to witness a paradigm shift in the domain of energy. Earlier, the six companies in the presence of the World Bank and IFC signed the launch of Super-6 wind power project.

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