Pakistan to sell 24 state entities, reveals Aleem Khan ahead of IMF talks
Pakistan to sell 24 state entities, reveals Aleem Khan ahead of IMF talks
Web Desk

The Pakistani government plans to sell nearly two dozen state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the coming years, according to a report by Pakistani state media on Monday, citing Privatization Minister Aleem Khan.

This development occurs as Islamabad engages in critical discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a new, long-term bailout program following the completion of a $3 billion short-term program in April, which helped Pakistan avoid default last year.

As part of the previous bailout package, the IMF emphasized that SOEs with significant losses needed stronger governance, requiring Pakistan to implement an ambitious reform agenda.

In response to a question in parliament, Khan confirmed the government’s intention to privatize around 24 state entities, including the national airline. The state-run Radio Pakistan broadcaster reported his statement.

“These companies include Pakistan International Airlines, Roosevelt Hotel, First Women Bank, Utility Stores Corporation, and various power distribution companies,” the minister said.

Minister for Power Sardar Awais Leghari noted that providing an uninterrupted power supply is impossible without addressing issues of line losses and power theft.

“Pakistan cannot afford a loss of 700 billion rupees in the power sector, and we must improve the performance of power distribution companies to control losses,” Leghari stated in parliament.

He emphasized the need for provincial government cooperation, adding, “It is the responsibility of all of us, irrespective of political affiliation, to play our due role in controlling power theft.”

The government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has highlighted the necessity of a new, long-term program to support Pakistan’s $350 billion economy, which is struggling with low foreign exchange reserves, currency devaluation, and high inflation.