CCOP agrees to increase the sale of PIA real estate, SME Bank

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CCOP agrees on stepping up sale of PIA properties, SME Bank

ISLAMABAD: On Friday, the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCOP) issued guidelines for stepping up SME Bank Limited and PIA Investment Limited’s work on privatization.

However, the CCOP, headed by Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, did not agree with the proposal to de-list 17 Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (Erra) properties out of the 32 that the Privatisation Commission is processing for sale.

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The committee approved the transaction structure, submitted by the Privatisation Commission, for the sale of SME Bank.

Earlier, the CCOP was informed that a transaction committee comprising members of the board of the Privatisation Commission, representatives of the Finance Ministry, State Bank of Pakistan, and SME Bank had reviewed and recommended the transaction structure.

They met four times before a detailed transaction framework was created, which was put to consideration and approval before the CCOP.

The Privatisation Commission has shared the pre-qualification conditions that its board has reviewed and approved for prospective bidders with the CCOP.

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For the privatization of PIA Investment Limited, the CCOP approved a proposal to set up a task force to review and process all necessary formalities for the early disposal of PIA properties, including the New York Roosevelt Hotel and the Paris Hotel Scribe.

The task force will be headed by Muhammad Mian Soomro, Minister of Privatisation, and will include Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, Secretary of Privatization and Additional Secretary of Finance, as well as legal and financial consultants for Roosevelt Hotel and any other official considered necessary for cooperation.

The CCOP told the PIA management to present in next meeting of the cabinet committee the findings of a feasibility study conducted by it. The study had been undertaken in response to a CCOP decision earlier this year, which called for carrying out an appraisal of various management and financial options for achieving optimal return on Roosevelt Hotel.

The CCOP also directed the PIA management to update the committee every month on the progress made and told the airline management to carry out its plan in coordination with the Aviation Division.

The CCOP took up a proposal of Erra, which sought the delisting of its 17 properties from the privatisation list until June 2020. The proposal came as in the middle of next year, Erra would be merged into the National Disaster Management Commission (NDMC) according to a government decision to transform the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) into a vibrant and self-sufficient entity

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