The federal government has decided to privatise 49 organisations within the next five years. The decision was made in a session of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee for Privatisation.
The Privatisation Ministry said that 15 companies had been taken out of the privatisation list and eight had been added to it.
Pakistan is in discussion with half a dozen companies from Russia and China to run the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) under public-private partnership and increase its capacity from 1.1 million to 3.5 million per year.
The committee was informed that the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and the PSM have so far racked up combined losses of around Rs600 billion, of which the PIA losses stand at around Rs400 billion.
This ruling government is sitting on the laps of US Imperialism and constantly adopting what agreement they signed with IMF/World Bank.
The mills current total losses are around Rs200 billion. Secretary Privatization said that the government had decided to PIA and PSM are in the list.
He said, “The steel mills will be sold on public-private partnership, to enhance its production capacity from 1.1 to 3.5 million tons per year.”
However, among other more than a dozen public sector enterprises, PIA has been put off the list of privatization programme and the government is making hectic efforts to bring this national flag carrier into a profitable entity.
He further said that in next one and a half years, the government would give seven public entities in private hands that include SME bank Limited, First Women Bank Limited, 1,223 MW Balloki Power Plant, 1,230 MW Haveli Bahadur Power Plant, Mari Petroleum Limited (divestment of remaining shares), Jinnah Convention Centre, Islamabad, Lakhra Coal Mines (now Lakhra Coal Development Company) and Services International Hotel, Lahore.
The privatization project is a vast programme of stipulations – known as conditionalities – to be met. Its agenda of undesirable changes has included creation of Oil and Gas Regulating Authority (OGRA) and breaking down of WAPDA into various power supply companies, lifting of price controls, linking of POL prices with those in the international market, pegging the Rupee to US Dollar and thus exposing it to constant devaluation, terminating the beneficial subsidies on essential items and giving freedom to foreign buyers of SOEs to repatriate their profits in foreign exchange.
Distress and Damages Caused by Privatization.
The conditions and consequences let loose by the privatization project have been harmful economically, socially and even politically, both for the State and the people. People are suffering from unemployment and a chronic inability to meet the ever rising cost of the basic necessities of daily life, food, electricity, gas, transportation, schooling of children. Impoverishing conditions in the society have increased bribery, robberies and suicides.
When The News contacted the Secretary Privatization, he said that the government has recently delisted 15 entities of the privatization list and Pakistan Steel Mills and PIA are also included in that list. He added that for the Pakistan Steel Mills’ running under PPP mode, the Ministry of Industries and Production would execute that process and in discussion with the Chinese and Russian Companies. Aviation division is also working hard on the restructure of the PIA.
He said that other entities which have been delisted of the privatization program are National Bank of Pakistan, Industrial Development Bank Limited (IDBL), Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), Pakistan State Oil Company Limited (PSO), Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL), Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGC), Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Utility Stores Corporation of Pakistan (USC), Pakistan Steel Fabricating Company Limited, National Highways Authority (NHA), National Construction Limited (NCL), Printing Corporation of Pakistan (PCP) and Pakistan Railways and its allied facilities, factories, workshops etc.
He further said there is a list of 41 entities which the government plans to privatize in second phase, however the concern ministries and divisions have been asked to give their views on their privatization
It is not a new attack of this government, working class always under the attack by the capitalists including with MNAs or MPAs. The Rallies and protests against privatization of state-owned companies started in all over Pakistan.
WAPDA, Banks, Insurance companies workers are on roads.
APTUF/Railway worker’s union already decide to start a protest from Lahore, Karachi, Quetta and Rawalpindi in next week.
The working class denounce that they will fight against government antiworker policies which create more unemployment of thousands of working class.
Imran Khan in his speech said that he will create 50 million jobs for unemployed people but rather than to create jobs the companies are terminating thousands of workers in HONDA, Suzuki Motors, Orient and other private sector. Under the banner of All Pakistan Trade Union Federation we are ready to fight to restore labor inspection, implement labor laws and stop Privatization of companies.