Pakistan News Service

Sunday Nov 23, 2014, Muharram 30, 1436 Hijri
Logo
Main News Business & Economy Stock & Bond Editorials Cotton & Textiles Agriculture & Allied Fuel & Energy Taxiation Company News

Dar raises pending $800m issue with UAE

06 February, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has once again raised the issue of pending $800 million against the privatisation of Pakistan Telecommunication Limited (PTCL) with top functionaries of United Arab of Emirates (UAE) government, as Islamabad badly needed amount to raise its reserves.

  More on this

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has once again raised the issue of pending $800 million against the privatisation of Pakistan Telecommunication Limited (PTCL) with top functionaries of United Arab of Emirates (UAE) government, as Islamabad badly needed amount to raise its reserves.

Sources informed that Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar, who is in Dubai currently, has asked the UAE government for early release of much-delayed $800 million owned by Etisalat against the privatisation of PTCL. Sources were of the view that both sides would reach on consensus in next few months.  Meanwhile, an official handout also stated that Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar has asked the Dr. Anwar Mohammad Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in UAE Parliament for disbursement of $800 million. Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar had asked the Etisalat delegation in December 2013 to immediately release $600 million to Pakistan, as more than 60 properties have either been transferred or in the final stages of transfer to PTCL. However, the delegation sought time to consider the Pakistan's proposal. Therefore, government has once again raised the issue with UAE govt.

It is worth mentioning here that an Etisalat consortium bought a 26 percent stake in PTCL for $2.6 billion in 2005 that also gave Etisalat majority-voting rights. The UAE firm paid an initial $1.80 billion as per the deal terms, which also included transferring ownership of the properties to PTCL from the government. Etisalat was to pay the remaining $800 million it owed in six twice-yearly installments of $133 million, but has withheld payment as the transfer of some of these properties stalled. At the time of privatisation of PTCL, there were a total of 3,248 properties to be mutated in favour of PTCL. Of these, 3117 have been transferred till date leaving 131 outstanding properties, which include 32, public and 99 private.

Sources said that 60 properties have either been transferred or in the final stages of transfer to PTCL. Details of the remaining properties in the process of transfer include nine in Punjab, 45 in Sindh, four in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, five in Balochistan and eight in the Federal Government.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar met Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and the Minister of Finance and Industry of the United Arab Emirates here on Tuesday evening and discussed matters of bilateral interests. The Finance Minister said that Pakistan cherished its close friendly relations with the people and leadership of the United Arab Emirates. He said that foundation of our fraternal relations was laid down by Late Khalifa Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and the Minister of Finance and Industry of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) expressed his optimism that the present leadership of Pakistan would soon overcome challenges confronting the country. He assured that his governments would extend all possible cooperation for economic development of Pakistan. He appreciated the invaluable contributions of expatriate Pakistani community in the development of UAE. The Finance Mi

nister apprised the Deputy Ruler of Dubai and the Minister of Finance and Industry of the UAE that Pakistan economy had been put on track through enforcement of financial discipline. He said that the present government believes in market economy and facilitation of businesses to enhance economic growth. He further said that Pakistan's industry had started showing positive growth of 5.2 percent while  revenue's collection in January 2014 was Rs 167 billion indicating an increase of 26 percent over the collection of January last year which  was a positive signal that  the target would be achieved, he added. He added that prospects of natural gas in Pakistan were bright; therefore, the government was incentivising oil and gas exploration to overcome energy shortages by tapping indigenous natural resources and soon come up with a new exploration policy.

Sheikh Hamdan extended his best wishes for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He recalled his visit to Karachi and remarked that the city had since expanded.

The Finance Minister said that both Karachi and Lahore had expanded rapidly and Lahore which had developed recently as a comparable city was attracting people in Pakistan.

Courtesy: The Nation


 
Suggested Sites