ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Hafeez Shaikh on Thursday called for an ‘immediate’ attention to curtail losses in state-owned enterprises that he said take toll on the economy.
“Immediate attention is required to contain the losses in a number of SOEs which are a cause of losses to the economy,” Shaikh said. “Better governance and active supervision is expected to bring in considerable improvements.”
PM adviser made the observation while presiding over a meeting on improving governance structure of SOEs and role of Sarmaya Pakistan Limited (SPL). Economists and financial experts, including Shaukat Tareen and Zubyr Soomro, and senior officers of finance division also attended the meeting. The cabinet established the SPL earlier this year to bring in professional expertise to improve the governance of the SOEs’ and turn the organisations profitable. The SPL’s board will engage chief executive, chief financial officers and company secretary from private sector to recommend ways to the government for turning around lose-making public sector enterprises. Shaikh underscored the government’s efforts to contain losses in state-owned enterprises that drain on monetary resources of the cash-strapped government.
The SPL was the brainchild of former finance minister Asad Umar as he wanted to revive the loss-making PSEs through public private partnership mode. Net losses of state-owned enterprises ballooned to Rs191.5 billion in the fiscal year of 2016/17 as against Rs44.7 billion in 2015/16, the finance ministry’s latest report said. During the meeting, the current state of affairs of SOEs was discussed in detail and it was decided that a proposal to reconstitute the board of Sarmaya along with names and details of proposed organisations, which could benefit from active supervision and guidance of the SPL’s professional management, would be submitted to the Prime Minister through cabinet committee of state-owned enterprise in the coming weeks.
(This news/article originally appeared in The News on September 13th, 2019)