Govt accused of selling state entities to benefit favourites

Shah said time had come to show the real face of the PML-N government to the masses.—AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Khurshid Shah accused the government on Wednesday of selling state entities in the name of privatisation to provide benefit to its favourites.

Admitting that the PPP had so far been soft with the government, Mr Shah said time had come to show the real face of the PML-N government to the masses.

He said details about the recent sale of the Heavy Electrical Complex for just Rs250 million were being collected. There were reports that some dubious characters were involved in this transaction and the PPP would expose them, he added.

“It is mind-boggling that the HEC, which is spread over dozens of acres valued at over Rs1.5 billion, has been sold for mere Rs250m.”

Also read: Sindh govt asked to clear Rs66bn electricity dues

Mr Shah said the government had sold the HEC to the Kenya-based Cargill Holdings Limited, which had no presence in the country and was not listed on the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan.

He said that at a time when the privatisation trend was on the decline worldwide, the government was feverishly moving ahead with the policy.

On March 24, the Privatisation Board approved the bid of Cargill Holdings for the HEC.

The Pakistan-based Cargill Holdings, it may be mentioned, has moved the court against the Kenya-based company for using its name.

Cargill Pakistan, said to be a subsidiary of US-based Cargill, claimed that “Cargill is the registered proprietor of the trademark, Cargill, worldwide and in Pakistan, having tremendous goodwill and reputation”.

Mr Shah accused the government of depriving employees of the Habib Bank Limited of their share in recent offloading of its shares.

He criticised the government for dragging its feet over the National Finance Commission Award. “Our government passed the NFC Award after a gap of 20 years, but the PML-N government is reluctant to take the commission to the next stage. I am surprised to know that the government is planning to extend the existing NFC Award for one year.”

The PPP leader led an opposition walkout against what has been termed uneven distribution of development funds between government and opposition benches.

Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal later told the assembly that the PML-N government had been following a transparent privatisation policy and it was open for scrutiny at any forum.

He took the PPP to task for destroying national institutions. “The previous PPP government is responsible for miserable state of affairs of the PIA. They recruited so many employees in the national airline that now it’s only producing losses.

We are just trying to improve governance in the country.”

Share on Google Plus

About hi

    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment


Post a comment