ISLAMABAD: Senators from opposition on Thursday suggested that the government could bring a turnaround in the loss making institutions by hiring the services of competent persons instead of privatising them.
Taking part in a debate on the privatisation policy in Senate, they said the government should take steps to broaden the tax net and there should be no political interference to make the government-run entities profitable.
Opening the debate, parliamentary leader of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in Senate Raza Rabbani said his party would resist the privatization of national entities, which was started on the directives of International Monitary Funds (IMF). He referred to a letter of intent issued by the IMF in September 2013 in this regard.
He said the PPP was monitoring the privatization process. Over 100 entities were being privatised without the consent of federating units, he claimed.
He said the privatisation of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) would follow that of airports.
Saeed Ghani of the PPP said there was no mechanism to check the institution’s conditions after its privatisation.
Referring to the Metro Bus project, he said over Rs 1 billion per annum were needed to run the project.
Talha Mehmood of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) said competent persons should be hired to run the affairs of PIA.
Ms Nasreen Jalil of Muttahida Qaumi Movement stressed transparency in the privatisation process with employees’ job protection.
Chaudhry Jaffer Iqbal of the PML-N said some institutions were a burden as those devoured some Rs 500 billion per annum. It was not the job of government to run airlines and railway or to do any other business.
Due to the wrong policies of the previous regimes, he said the present government had to avail loans from the IMF.
He assured that transparency would be ensured in the privatisation process and no employee of any institution would be deprived of job.