Business community deplores snail-paced process of privatization

LAHORE (DNA) -Businessmen have deplored the stalled privatization process in the country as there has been no meaningful privatization during last seven years while the public sector companies continue to bleed the national exchequer profusely.

Addressing a meeting of business leaders Mian Anjum Nisar a candidate for top slot in FPCCI said that despite conceding that government has no business in doing business the economic planners are moving painfully slow in the privatization process. He said government owned power sector companies remain an unbearable liability of the government.

Still he regretted that no public sector distribution or power producing company has been privatized since 2005 when Karachi Electric Company was handed over to the private sector.

He said the KESC did face some teething problems initially but has now emerged as a better managed company. He said the cost of power produced by KESC managed power plants is much less than the power generated by public sector power units.

He said at the time of privatization the power units operated by KESC were the more inefficient than other public sector power companies. He said business chambers particularly FPCCI should exert pressure on government for accelerating the privatization process.

Former President Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sohail Lashari said that the leading cement sector companies listed at stock market were in red when they were under government control.

He said after privatization these companies are among the top performers in the capital market.

They have upgraded their technologies and expanded their capacities by 400 percent. He said since privatization there has been no shortage of cement in the country. In fact he added Pakistan is a regular exporter of cement to India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and some African countries.

Senior vice president Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mian Nauman Kabir said that Pakistan excelled in rice export after all the rice plants were handed over to private sector between 1993-96. He said currently private sector through better rice milling technology is exporting over $2 billion worth of rice to numerous countries.

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