The Federal Minister for Privatisation Senator Waqar Ahmed Khan Wednesday revealed before the National Assembly that the privatization deal of PTCL with Etisalat was not transparent and made in violation of rules and procedures.
“The deal of privatization of PTCL was not transparent. It was made contrary to rules and procedures, said the minister replying to a question and later the House referred the subject matter to the National Assembly Standing Committee on Privatization for probe.
The members from the opposition party requested the chair to form a special parliamentary committee to probe the deal that was not opposed by the minister concerned but the Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi said as the matter is already under discussion with the standing committee concerned.
“The matter is referred to the standing committee. However, if the committee members feel that formation of special committee was essential it would be done,” the deputy speaker assured.
He told the House that the SPA was finalized and transaction was made without taking the Privatization Commission Board into confidence, adding that Etisalat has withheld $800 million over the mutation of land issue to be transferred to the UAE-based company.
He told the House that around 3,500 properties were to be transferred to Etisalat which also comprise lands not even owned by federal or any provincial government rather either those are private properties are under litigation.
In total, the minister said the government has received an amount of US$ 1.79 billion from the Etisalat out of that an amount of US$ 1.5 billion has been remitted to federal government for debt retirement and poverty alleviation.
Besides, an amount of US$ 251 million has been utilized for payment of 50 percent share of government on account of PTCL employees VSS dues. The remaining amount of proceeds has been utilized for payment of the transaction cost on account of financial advisory and legal experts.
Waqar Ahmed said as the matter involves two states, the government is trying to resolve the issue of withheld amount amicably through diplomatic channels but he added, so far there is no headway in this regard.
Senator Waqar told the House that the deal was full of flaws and the legal advisors had asked the then government to scrap it otherwise it would be considered contrary to rules.
On a supplementary question, Khawaja Sheraz suggested the formation of a special committee to look into the matter referring to the standing committee concerned that has already given its decision on the issue.
Raza Hayat Haraj told the House that as the minister concerned has not opposed the formation of special committee then there should be no more discussion over it and the body be formed with the mandate to investigate the callous deal.
Later, minister for privatization also requested the chair to reconsider the decision and form the committee in what the deputy speaker said it would be formed if the committee members express their desire in this regard.