Shahbaz Sharif’s resolve to sell SOEs welcomed

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Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain said on Wednesday that Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s determination to sell all government institutions except strategic institutions is laudable. The Prime Minister should ensure that a minimum number of white elephants are kept in the name of strategic institutions and that the proceeds from the sale of institutions are spent for debt relief and the welfare of the people.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the government should not be involved in business because everyone knows the worst consequences when the government steps into the industry.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that selling the failed government institutions is essential. Still, it is also important to keep a close watch on private institutions to protect the rights of the people because the black sheep in the private sector keep starting crises for profit.

The business leader underscored Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s stance, stating that the government’s primary role is not to engage in business operations, but to foster an investment-friendly environment and facilitate the provision of necessary facilities. This commitment from the government is a reassuring sign for the business community and the public at large.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister clarified that all government institutions, whether profitable or loss-making, will be privatised. He has also directed all the federal ministries to fully cooperate with the Privatization Commission and take all necessary steps.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that privatisation will save almost 1200 billion rupees annually and that private institutions will provide better facilities for the public.

Mian Zahid Hussain strongly advocated for transparency in privatisation, particularly in selling PIA and steel mills. This call for openness and fairness in the process is crucial to instilling confidence in the public and the business community, ensuring that the benefits of privatisation are shared equitably.

Mian Zahid Hussain further said that eliminating unnecessary departments should also be started in addition to selling government institutions.

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