Focusing on privatization raises doubts on interim govt’s intent with regard to its tenure: PTI

Says best thing the interim govt can do is to expedite election process

ISLAMABAD  -  Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Saturday made it clear that the primary mandate of the caretaker government was to hold free, fair and transparent polls in the constitutionally defined time limit of 90 days instead of focusing on priva­tization of the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in such a short term. Reacting to the interim government’s priva­tization plan, PTI spokesper­son Raoof Hasan said that the caretaker government wanted to tackle the losses being in­curred by SOEs by undertak­ing sale of these entities that raised suspicions on the intent of the present set-up regard­ing its tenure, besides creat­ing a legal challenge. “The best thing the interim government can do is to expedite the elec­tion process and ensure elec­tions are held within 90 days, so that the process of fixing SOEs can then be undertaken by an elected government with a mandate,” he said.

The spokesperson said that PTI believed that the govern­ment has no business run­ning businesses. It is in favour of an orderly and transpar­ent exit from these compa­nies through strategic sale of their shares by the privatiza­tion commission, but with an elected government in place, he added. He went on to say that given that the interim government’s term was short and its primary mandate was to hold free and fair elections, the only thing they could do was to help SOEs to improve their efficiency and cut losses.

“Focusing on privatization and trying to expedite it in such a short tenure raises suspicions on the intent of the interim government with regards to its tenure, and opens the gov­ernment up to allegations of impropriety,” he said. This also makes any privatization activ­ity subject to legal challenge, further complicating a sensitive process, he remarked.

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