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Event Title: Meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Privatization was held under the Chairmanship of Senator Shammim Afridi

Event Date: 2022-01-13

Islamabad 13th January, 2022:- Meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Privatization was held under the Chairmanship of Senator Shammim Afridi here at Parliament House on Thursday.

At the start of the meeting, Committee was briefed by Ministry of Privatization on the undergoing privatization programme of Heavy Electrical Complex (HEC). The ministry explained that HEC was established in 1991 and its major function was to manufacture transformers. The HEC is owned by Ministry of industries and Production, they added. However, currently the HEC only carries repairing work and cannot manufacture new transformers due to lack of capital, they further added. The Committee was informed about the main reasons behind the privatization of HEC. The Ministry also informed that the bidding of HEC will be finalized till 19th January 2022. The Chairman Committee directed the Ministry to invite Senators in the bidding ceremony of HEC.

Discussing the Privatization programme of House Building Finance Corporation (HBFC), the Ministry informed the Committee that HBFC was corporatized in 2007 and Government of Pakistan and State Bank of Pakistan holds 9.69pc and 90pc shares respectively in this corporation. The major function of HBFC was to provide home loan facility to lower and middle class section of the country, they added. As of June 2021, the net assets of HBFC are 20 Billion rupees. Senator Aon Abbas inquired the Ministry that what causes delay in the privatization of this corporation. Minister for Privatization informed the Committee that ministry is dependent on Finance Ministry and State Bank of Pakistan for privatization of corporation and this is why privatization of HBFC has been delayed so far. However, the privatization of HBFC will be finalized by the June of this year, Ministry informed.

While discussing the Privatization Programme of First Women Bank, the Ministry informed the Committee that First Women Bank was established in 1989 and 83pc of its shares are held by Government of Pakistan and 2pc by National Bank of Pakistan (NBP). The main focus of this bank was to meet the special needs of women. In 1996, speculation of transaction in foreign trade cost 31 crore rupees loss to the Bank, ministry informed. The Bank has total 42 branches in the country and a paid up capital of Rs.4.1 Billion as un-audited financials 2020, they added. The Ministry also informed the Committee that the Ministry of Finance has given the deadline till December 2022 for the privatization of Bank. The Chairman Committee was of opinion that hurdles in the privatization of corporation must be removed so that the country can get rid of these loss making corporations.

The Meeting was attended by Senator Rana Mahmood Ul Hassan, Senator Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah, Senator Anwar Lal Dean, Senator Molvi Faiz Muhammad, and Senator Aon Abbas and Minister for Privatization Mian Mohammed Soomro and others officials of Ministry as well.