In addition to PIA and the Pakistan Steel Mills, the board of the Privatization Commissions has also approved selling shares of five partially-state owned enterprises such as HBL, UBL, Allied Bank, Pakistan Petroleum Limited and Oil and Gas Development Companies Limited. It is time to face reality. The government of Pakistan is a colossal failure in the business sector. Firms that showed promise and had a great capacity for growth have been run into the ground. It is better for the opposition to admit this and realize that their part in running these organizations is over. Let the experts handle this.
Apart from the oft-mentioned benefits of privatization like increased incentives and quality control there are other positives that will come about through this, and have been ignored thus far. These industries have been consistently treated like the birthright of any political party that is in government at the time in question. Directorships are handed out like gifts to all those that are considered 'important' by our leaders. Merit and having the right skills for the job is not really a prerequisite. At least this way, important positions within these firms will not be used to bestow personal favours for favoured cousins or uncles.
However this measure only scratches the surface of the real problem. The horrifying reality is that the losses of WAPDA alone are equivalent to Pakistan's defense budget, which everyone knows is where we sink most of our money on a yearly basis. The energy crisis needs to be revisited, and maybe the government's failure to successfully curtail power theft signifies that we need a change over there as well. The government's responsibility to the people is such that these amenities must be provided, but it does not really matter who provides them. If private institutions are able to do the job better, why not allow them to improve the lives of the people?
While naysayers will be quick to point fingers at the government and blame them for selling off Pakistan's greatest assets, let us remind them that they are costing us more than we can pay. Right now, the state's attempt to dip its hand in the private sector is exacerbating all the problems. Our already over-taxed government should divert its attention to other matters. The economy is clearly not their forte.