39 organisations on privatisation list: Minister tells Senate

Source:  Dawn.com Published in Current Affairs on Friday, November 13, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Friday said that government of Pakistan has at least 39 public sector organisations on its privatisation list, Radio Pakistan reported.

The minister told senate in question hour that the government intends divestment from various such organisations belonging to oil, gas, power and financial sectors.

The minister further told the senators that the government was planning to conduct a new survey under the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) to identify the people in need across the country.

Speaking on behalf of the Finance Minister during the question-hour, he said the BISP was in the process of technical consultation with relevant stakeholders for assessing needs of conducting a fresh survey.

However, he said, the exact timeline in this regard could not be shared at this time as the process was lengthy in nature, involved deliberations of various stakeholders and entailed allocation of financial resources by the government.

To a question, he said the BISP Poverty Scorecard survey in union council Nikka Pani, Tehsil Oghi of district Mansehra was conducted in 2011, and the financial assistance to deserving was being provided accordingly.

He said names and addresses of the beneficiaries could not be shared as per the Data Sharing Protocol approved by the BISP Board, constituted under the Act of Parliament (BISP Act-2010).

However, the minister said, a total of 1,357 registered BISP beneficiaries in the Nikka Pani area were getting financial assistance. Loans to repay loans

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, speaking on an adjournment motion moved by Sherry Rehman, said that external public debt stands at over 18 trillion rupees and the debt would have been higher if the government had not reduced the fiscal deficit to 5.37 per cent.

Dar vowed to bring down the fiscal deficit in the coming years.

The Minister told the house that loans taken by International Monetary Fund (IMF) were to repay the previous loans adding that the expenditure on war on terror too is falling heavy on the national kitty.

“Foreign countries had pledged $6billion as aid for war on terror while we have only received $35million as yet,” said Ishaq Dar.

The Finance Minister said that since 2013, the PML-N led federal government has successfully closed down the secret funds of 32 institutions and transferred the money to State Bank of Pakistan.

Dar also invited the opposition parties to sit together for a joint economic strategy.

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