Govt mulls delaying privatisation of MPCL

Published June 24, 2021
The CCoP meeting, chaired by Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin, deliberated on the divestment of government shares in MPCL. — AFP/File
The CCoP meeting, chaired by Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin, deliberated on the divestment of government shares in MPCL. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The government is likely to delist Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MPCL) from its active privatisation programme, it emerged on Wednesday after the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP) asked the Privatisation Commission (PC) to further examine divestment of 18.39 per cent shares owned by the government in the company.

The CCoP meeting, chaired by Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin, deliberated on the divestment of government shares in MPCL and was of the view that the Ministry of Petroleum and PC should further examine the issue and come up with a comprehensive proposal for the next committee meeting.

According to informed sources, the petroleum ministry is not in favour of divestment of government shares and has moved a summary asking the CCoP to delist MPCL from the active privatisation programme.

On Wednesday, the CCoP did not take any decision on delisting MPCL and wanted further evaluation before a final decision. It may be recalled that the federal cabinet decided in November 2018 to divest 18.39pc government shares in MPCL.

According to official statistics, MPCL is among the selected blue chip companies based on market capitalisation listed at the Pakistan Stock Exchange. Mari Petroleum has 133.40 million shares with the price of Rs1531.30 amounting to Rs204.28 billion.

The CCoP also discussed the proposal for privatisation of Services International Hotel and after thorough debate approved the revised reserve price subject to further approval by the federal cabinet.

The cabinet committee examined the proposal for removal of Pakistan Engineering Company (Peco) from the active privatisation list, and directed constitution of a committee consisting of representatives from PC, Law Division, Establishment Division, Industries & Production Division, Finance Division and the Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan to thoroughly analyse the case and come up with its proposals on issues highlighted in the meeting.

The CCoP meeting was attended by Minister for Privatisation Muhammadmian Soomro and Minister for Industries & Production Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar. Adviser to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr Ishrat Hussain, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Petroleum Tabish Gauhar, and other senior officials of the concerned ministries were also present in the meeting.

Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2021

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