Approval For The Sale of Pakistan’s Assets by The Federal Cabinet
The federal cabinet has adopted an ordinance to skip all the procedural steps and also remove regulatory checks, including the applicability of six pertinent laws, in a desperate bid to prevent the country from defaulting through an emergency sale of public assets to foreign nations.
According to a copy of the Inter-Governmental Commercial Transactions Ordinance 2022, the Centre is now able to give legally enforceable directives to the provincial governments regarding property purchases. The ordinance has not yet been signed by President Arif Alvi.
According to the Decree
According to the decree, the government has also forbidden the national courts from hearing any lawsuits challenging the sale of assets and stock in government-owned corporations to other nations.
To generate $2 billion to $2.5 billion and prevent the impending default, the federal cabinet authorized the decree on Thursday to sell shares of government-owned power plants and oil and gas enterprises to the UAE.
Due to Islamabad’s failure to repay prior loans, the UAE had in May declined to provide cash deposits and requested that its firms be made available for investment instead.
Finance Minister Miftah Ismail’s Statement
This week, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail stated that one privatization transaction typically takes 471 days to complete. To immediately generate finances, he had stressed that the administration had to quickly reach agreements with other nations.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stipulated that Pakistan must arrange $4 billion before its case can be brought before the board.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has required that Pakistan get $4 billion from friendly nations to close the fiscal deficit before presenting its case to the board.
The seriousness of the difficulties the administration is dealing with is demonstrated by the rupee’s 8.3 percent loss in value this week, which is the largest decline since November 1998.
The Ordinance Raised Transparency Concerns
The Mari Gas Company, Oil Gas Development Company Limited, and Pakistan Petroleum Limited’s share prices were set despite their low market prices relative to their book values, raising significant questions about transparency in light of the ordinance.
According to the papers, the law would offer a procedure for carrying out a business transaction within an intergovernmental framework agreement to promote, draw, and encourage other governments to build economic and business links with Pakistan.
Imran Khan Disagreed with the Law
Imran Khan, a former prime minister, has voiced strong opposition to the legislation. The former PM attacked the administration on Twitter as soon as news of the ordinance’s passage by the Pakistani cabinet surfaced.
“How can imported government brought to power through US conspiracy, led by the prime minister, whose family and (PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali) Zardari have volumes written on their corruption, be trusted with the sale of national assets (and) that too (by) bypassing all procedural (and) legal checks,” he said, referring to the current administration as an “imported government.”
He further charged that the government had been robbing Pakistan for the last 30 years and was to blame for the current financial disaster. “These crooks shouldn’t ever be permitted to sell our national assets in the cunning way they are attempting,” he declared. The country would never entrust them with its resources.
PM Shahbaz to Imran Khan
PM Shehbaz allegedly said Khan had lost his memory and handed him some “reminders.” One, according to a Transparency International assessment, corruption grew under his administration. Along with significant frauds, even transfers and posts were for sale. Second, the consequences of his poor economic management are being felt by the public. In his third point, he charged Khan with seriously harming Pakistan’s standing abroad and its ties to “friendly” nations.
Four, he has lost his sense of balance in his desire for power, which is demonstrated by his repeated use of falsehoods, propaganda, and obvious factual distortions, the author continued.