KARACHI: Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Asad Umar has said that the government is preparing a grand strategy to revive the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).
Speaking to the media on Friday in Islamabad, he said that the government is committed to bring the PIA and the PSM out of their current state.
He said that the state-owned entities (SOEs) are causing huge losses to the national kitty due to corruption and malpractices in the past.
However, he said that the government is committed to reviving these SOEs by rooting out the culture of corruption.
He said that the government has already provided Rs17 billion to the national-flag carrier which was approved by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) in November. The airline has accumulated losses of Rs356bn with total liabilities amounting to Rs406bn against assets of only Rs111bn.
Commenting on the plan to revive these PSM, he said the strategy will be finalised by January. He said that the plan will seek to increase the production capacity of the mills.
Moreover, he announced that the losses in the energy sector will be reduced to Rs140bn within a year.
He added that in order to avoid future losses, smart metering systems will be installed at the distribution companies to reduce power theft.
Mentioning the National Finance Commission (NFC), he said that Sindh has sent a name of the member for the NFC and the list will be forwarded to the prime minister for approval.
The Sindh government has nominated Asad Sayeed as the non-statutory member to represent the province in the NFC meeting.
Highlighting the government’s progress in its first 100 days, the finance minister said that the PTI has brought the country back from the brink of default.
Following a meeting with the senior officials of Finance, Economic Affairs and Petroleum divisions, Asad said that it was agreed to fully utilise the $4.5bn oil import facility over the three years.
The meeting reviewed the existing facilities from the International Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and other facilities for the import of different petroleum products.
ITFC — a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) — had activated three-year $4.5bn financing facility for Pakistan in July.
The facility was aimed to help the country meet its crude oil and refined petroleum products import requirements during 2018-20.
Published in Dawn, December 29th, 2018