ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to sell its precious unutilised state properties at the Dubai Expo to attract foreign and Pakistani investors to the country and the funds generated through the exercise will be spent on public welfare schemes related to education, health, food and housing.
It was decided at a meeting on abandoned state properties held at the Prime Minister Office on Wednesday. The meeting was presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“These unutilised state properties will be marketed at the Dubai Expo to attract foreign and Pakistani investors to buy these assets,” Privatisation Secretary Rizwan Malik informed the prime minister during the meeting.
The prime minister directed the authorities concerned to sell all precious abandoned properties of the state and to spend the money to be fetched from their sale on welfare of the masses.
The prime minister said that despite having properties worth billions of rupees, state institutions were bearing losses of billions of rupees every year.
“Utilisation of properties worth billions of rupees will help generate funds which will be spent by the government on public welfare schemes such as schools, colleges, hospitals. It is an important component of the government’s policy,” the prime minister said.
“Unfortunately, criminal negligence was done by the previous governments as they did not utilising these valuable properties. Despite billions of rupees’ assets, various federal government institutions are bearing losses of billions of rupees every year,” he added.
The prime minister warned that strict action would be taken against government officials who did not identify unused properties or tried to hinder the government move.
Mr Khan directed the Asset Management Committee and federal ministries as well as provincial governments to resolve all issues related to identified properties next week and implement the government decision immediately.
The meeting was attended by the Minister for Ports and Shipping, Ali Haider Zaidi, Minister for Privatisation Mian Muhammad Soomro, Assistant Secretary for Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Spokesperson to Prime Minister Nadeem Afzal Chen and federal secretaries.
Privatisation Secretary Rizwan Malik informed the meeting about the progress made by government departments on the use of various properties positively and their possible privatisation.
Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2019