ISLAMABAD: The government on Friday decided to issue a national security certificate for the sale of shares held by KES Power Ltd in K-Electric Ltd (KEL) to the Chinese multinational Shanghai Electric Power Ltd (SEPL).

A meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP) on Friday, chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, decided that the issuance of the national security certificate, however, would be subject to the ratification by the federal cabinet.

The issuance of the certificate is also linked with the clearance of billions of rupees debt on K-Electric’s balance sheet and obtaining approval of the regulatory authority, Nepra, it was learnt.

The Dubai-based group, in partnership with Al-Jomaih Group of Saudi Arabia and National Industries Group of Kuwait, holds a 66.4pc stake in K-Electric through its parent company known as KES Power.

The committee also discussed various issues related to the privatisation of Pakistan Steel Mills and restructuring of PIACL. The committee asked the sponsoring divisions to resubmit the proposals in a cohesive and comprehensive manner in light of earlier decisions on the subject.

According to Secretary Privatisation Commission, the matter of rehiring of financial advisers for PIACL was also discussed during CCoP meeting. The prime minister told the meeting that the rehiring financial advisers should be decided by the board of privatisation commission as the issue does not come under the jurisdiction of CCoP.

The board of Privatisation Commission will now meet to decide the rehiring of the financial advisers whose term ended in October 2017 on the same terms and conditions or to hire fresh financial advisers.

Published in Dawn, March 31st, 2018

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