Exposure of Pakistan’s Hidden Business Culture

Pakistan is a nation that possesses a prosperous and multifaceted commercial tradition, which has been shaped by a wide range of elements, such as the nation’s history, geography, religious practises, and political climate.


The concept of “preserving face” is extremely significant in Pakistani corporate culture and is considered to be one of the most crucial factors. This is a concept that is carried over from Pakistani society into the business sector. It is essential to preserve one’s dignity and respect in Pakistani society. In commercial discussions, it is common practice for parties to avoid openly expressing “no,” in an effort to avoid appearing uncooperative. Instead, they might employ cryptic gestures or phrases to indicate their discomfort or disagreement with the statement being said.


Personal connections are prioritized over professional ones in Pakistani corporate culture, which is another significant facet of this culture. It is essential to work on developing and maintaining strong personal relationships in order to be successful in business in Pakistan. As a result, it is common practice for business meetings to begin with a significant amount of socializing and small talk before moving on to the more serious topics at hand. It is customary for people to use titles and formal language when addressing those who are older or in positions of power because it is necessary to show respect to one’s elders and superiors. Additionally, showing respect to one’s elders and superiors is important.


Islam has a vital part in Pakistani business culture. Pakistan is a country in which Muslims make up the majority of the population. It is expected of businesses to function in accordance with Islamic principles, such as avoiding transactions based on interest and avoiding behaviors that are forbidden by Islamic law (haram) (forbidden). During the holy month of Ramadan, it is customary for businesses to close for the Friday prayers as well as to take breaks during the day.


Additionally, Pakistan is a country that maintains a hierarchical business structure, and Pakistani business culture places a significant emphasis on the concept of hierarchy. It is important for employees to show respect to their superiors and follow the chain of command because it is common for those at the top of the organisational structure to be the ones who make decisions. In addition, it is common for those at the top of the organizational structure to have more authority.


Overall, the Pakistani corporate culture is defined by a high emphasis on personal relationships, respect for hierarchy and authority, and the significance of maintaining dignity and respect for oneself and one’s colleagues. To successfully conduct business in Pakistan, it is essential to first gain an understanding of the local cultural norms and then learn how to navigate them.

The future of great Pakistan’s industrialization seen in the world

The future of Pakistan’s industrialization is facing a variety of obstacles, including the shutdown of certain businesses as a result of a prohibition on imports and a lack of natural gas this winter. Among these challenges is the potential for Pakistan to run out of natural gas. Concerns have been voiced concerning the future of the country’s industrial sector and the influence that this will have on the economy as a whole as a result of these difficulties.

A lack of United States dollars has resulted in the imposition of a prohibition on imports, which is one of the most significant issues that Pakistan’s manufacturing sector must contend with. Certain industries, particularly those that rely on imported raw materials or equipment, have been significantly impacted as a result of this development. The embargo has made it challenging for certain sectors to continue operating, which has led to the failure of numerous companies.

This winter, there is a lack of natural gas, which presents another another obstacle for Pakistan’s efforts to industrialise. Because of the country’s substantial reliance on natural gas for heating and energy, many industries are susceptible to shortages, particularly during the cold winter months. This is especially true when the temperatures drop below freezing. The inability of some companies to obtain natural gas has resulted in the termination of their operations, which in turn has had a severe effect on the economy as a whole.

In spite of these obstacles, there are still a great number of reasons to have an optimistic outlook towards the future of industry in Pakistan. The ongoing expansion and modernization of existing industries is one important trend that is projected to have a significant impact on the industrial sector of the country. There are a variety of well-established industries in Pakistan, such as the textiles industry, the automotive industry, and the pharmaceutical industry, all of which have the potential to continue expanding and modernising in the years to come in Pakistan.

A further movement that is anticipated to have a significant impact on the future of Pakistan’s manufacturing is the intensifying focus on technological advancement and creative endeavours. There is a good chance that the adoption and development of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and advanced manufacturing, will receive more attention as the economy of the country continues to evolve into a more developed state. This could result in the development of brand-new products and services, as well as enhanced manufacturing methods that are both more productive and more cost-effective.

In spite of the difficulties that Pakistan is now experiencing, the nation is in an excellent position to profit from the expansion of international trade. The nation is already a significant participant in the economy of the entire world, and it has a wide variety of goods and services that are in high demand both within the region and all over the world. As a result of the ongoing expansion and development of the global economy, it is quite likely that this pattern will carry on into the foreseeable future.

In general, Pakistan’s future industrialisation is going to have to contend with a variety of obstacles, the most significant of which being the prohibition on imports and the lack of natural gas this winter. However, there are still many reasons to be optimistic about the future of the country’s industrial sector. Some of these reasons include the potential for existing industries to continue growing and modernising, the increasing emphasis on technology and innovation, and the possibility of continued growth in international trade. In spite of the obstacles, it appears that Pakistan’s industrialization will have a successful future.

Specialized Shipping Guaranteed Empower time solutions of goods

Any shipment that is too big, heavy, or cumbersome to be shipped by standard methods requires specific shipping services. From the extraction of oil and gas to the building and manufacturing industries, specialised transport is essential. Freight for these sectors must be handled uniquely because standard shipping companies do not offer the necessary services, such as climate-controlled trailers, hazardous permits, or escort services for big cargo.

Specialized cargo needs additional authorizations in addition to the standard ones required for transport of any package. Shipping specialised cargo may seem daunting because of the complexity of logistics and transportation systems. Thanks to the CPECB’s dependable bridging services, businesses can more easily and effectively transport their high-value, bulky, and/or fragile cargo. Shipments of specialist goods via cargo ship necessitate the use of a CPECB hub.

How do you move unusual cargo?

Specific materials have unique shipping needs, necessitating specialised modes of transport and vehicles. The type of cargo being shipped will determine the mode of conveyance selected. When transporting big cargo, an escort service may be required. The size, mass, and nature of the goods in question determine the optimal mode of conveyance.

Transport Vehicles That Don’t Get Wet

Dry vans are frequently used for the transportation of dangerous goods. From common household goods like nail polish and perfume to lethal chemicals and explosives, there are nine distinct categories of hazardous materials. Carriers transporting hazardous materials must take many safety courses and receive special permissions to show they understand the dangers their cargo faces during transit.

Specialized shipments include things like electronics, robots, and fragile fixtures that can’t be transported in a standard dry van. Therefore, additional packaging and care during the storage phase will be required for customised shipments. Dry van trailers are used by businesses for transporting valuable cargo because they provide the best protection from bad weather, accidents, and theft.

Transport Refrigerators

When you hear “refrigerated trucks,” your mind likely goes straight to the food distribution business. However, delivering perishable goods like vaccinations and medications requires the use of refrigerated trucks. Trucks with temperature-controlled trailers, also called reefers, are used to transport perishable goods. If you need to ship something that needs to be kept at a specific temperature, you might expect to spend more because of the cost of the fuel used to do so.

Trailers with Various Deck Heights

Oversized loads encompass a wide variety of large and heavy items, including industrial machinery, steel and mining materials, construction equipment, and more. Products that are wider than 8 feet (6.01 metres), taller than 13 feet (4.11 metres), and longer than 48 to 53 feet are considered oversized loads. The most frequent types of trailers used to transport oversized cargo are flatbeds, lowboys, and step deck trailers because they allow for product overhang.


There are many varieties of trailers used in the transport industry, but flatbeds are among the most frequent. The length ranges from 48 to 53 feet, while the width averages 8.5 feet. In contrast to enclosed vehicles like vans and trucks, flatbeds are open and hence more convenient for transporting cargo. With a capacity of up to 48,000 pounds, flatbeds are quite flexible. A tri-axle flatbed trailer can move up to 65,000 pounds of heavy haul freight.


When transporting items that are over six feet in height, lowboys are the ideal trailer. The lowboy is a frequent vehicle for transporting heavy construction equipment like excavators and bulldozers. A lowboy, often called a double drop trailer, has a ground clearance of just 18 inches, making it suitable for transporting tall equipment through narrow passageways such as tunnels and under low-lying bridges. When equipped with two axels, a lowboy can carry up to 40,000 pounds; however, extra axels can be added if necessary.

Balcony Stairs

Step-deck trailers combine the advantages of both lowboy and flatbed trailers. A step-deck has tiers that range in height from 3 to 5 feet, with the uppermost tier measuring 5 by 10 feet and the lowest tier measuring 3 by 43 feet. Because of this, step deck trailers are ideal for transporting a wide variety of goods in a single load. Forklifts, tractors, and other heavy machinery may be easily transported on step decks because of their 43,000-pound weight capability.

Pilot or Escort Vehicles

Safely transporting huge loads may necessitate the use of escort or pilot vehicles. Loads that are more than 90 to 100 feet long, or more than 12 feet broad or 14 and 12 feet high, typically require two escort cars. The enormous cargo is accompanied by these vehicles, which travel in front of and behind the load to alert drivers to potential hazards and help them avoid them.

Finding the Right Carrier for Your Unique Shipments

Finding a professional logistics partner is one of the most challenging aspects of arranging proper shipments for specialised materials in a market with hundreds of companies and severe rivalry. Consider these qualities essential in a reliable specialised shipping service.

Focused Expertise

For logistics providers to fully grasp your company’s requirements and offer suitable solutions, they must have extensive experience in the supply chain and logistics industry. It’s best to work with a logistics partner who has seen it all before, as they’ll be better equipped to handle any problems that arise and offer advice on how to solve them. At CPECB, we’ve done the legwork to ensure that only the most reliable companies and bridging services providers have made the cut, so that you can focus on getting the job done.

The Carrier-Side Network

Maintaining available space for your loads is crucial to a streamlined shipping process, which is why having access to a wide range of carriers is so important. If you have a load, don’t worry about it. PLS will connect you with a network of reliable carriers.

Offerings in a Wide Range of Categories

There are many people, tools, and services needed to successfully transport specialty cargo. Verify that your prospective logistics partners can meet all of your needs, from specialised trucking and hazardous products shipment to escort services.

Mechanical Methods for Transport

Having better tools at your disposal can help you be more visible and provide better service to your customers. Assure top-tier freight management by checking that your logistics partner makes use of cutting-edge tools like a transportation management system (TMS). When transporting bulky, delicate, expensive, or perishable items, having access to real-time load updates is crucial.

Bridging Verified  Logistics Provider

We at CPECB verified and experienced Logistics bridging Services have been doing this for over a decade, and the businesses in our network have been transferring specialised cargo for anywhere from five to ten years. Everything from heavy machinery for mining and construction to oilfield tools to food and medication can be bridged across the CPECB. Strategic route planning, permit quotes, pilot cars, police escorts, and more are just some of the specialist shipping services we offer. Plus, you may reach out to our professionals at any time, day or night, and get real-time information on your shipments from anywhere in the world. You can save both time and money on your unique shipping requirements by using the CPECB’s bridging services for Logistics Services.

Do you have any concerns or require a heavy haul price estimate? Get in touch with a professional right away at info@cpecb.com !

A senior level tri service military delegation of Pakistan visited Peoples Republic of China from 9 to 12 June 2022.

A senior level tri service military delegation of Pakistan visited Peoples Republic of China from 9 to 12 June 2022.

A senior level tri service military delegation of Pakistan visited Peoples Republic of China from 9 to 12 June 2022. The delegation held wide ranging discussions with senior officials of Chinese military and other government departments. Apex Meeting was held on 12 June wherein Pakistani side was headed by Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Qamar Javed Bajwa while Chinese side was led by General Zhang Youxia Vice Chairman Central Military Commission of China. Both sides discussed their perspectives on international and regional security situation, and expressed satisfaction on defence cooperation between the two countries. Pakistan and China reaffirmed their strategic partnership in challenging times and agreed to continue regular exchange of perspectives on issues of mutual interest. Both sides also vowed to enhance their training, technology and counterterrorism cooperation at tri service level.

Belt and Road initiative is moving strongly

Lets Join CPEC and BRI Projects

Pakistan-IMF talks likely in Doha on May 18

Pakistan-IMF talks likely in Doha on May 18.withdrawing fuel subsidies from May 15,

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may begin talks on May 18 in Doha, as the country’s options to avoid insolvency have been limited after it could not immediately receive any major financial support from its three friendly countries.

Subject to the government’s willingness to start withdrawing fuel subsidies from May 15, the two sides have tentatively planned to meet in Qatar for policy level discussions to revive the program and extend its tenure and size to $8 billion, a senior government functionary told The Express Tribune.

The IMF has informed the government that it could send a mission to Doha for one week on May 18 for talks with Pakistan on the revival of the Extended Fund Facility, said the officials. However, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will have to overcome all obstacles from his cabinet members before that and has to make a decision on fuel subsidies.

The sources said Prime Minister Shehbaz had directed the finance ministry to once again ask the IMF to partially relax its condition of increasing fuel prices.

The development comes amid a delay in the finalization of new loan deals with Saudi Arabia, China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Pakistan is awaiting a rollover of $2.3 billion Chinese commercial loans. Another $1 billion Chinese deposit is maturing this and the next month.

China has now placed a condition for the renewal of its $2.3 billion loan, which Pakistan returned in March on the hope of getting it back in April but still remains undisbursed.

The sources said China wanted that its loans could not be used for any purpose and should only be treated as part of the reserves because of Pakistan’s weakening financial situation.

The government has requested that the loan money should at least be allowed to use for making payments against Chinese imports. The sources added that the decision was pending.

No dates for Prime Minister Shehbaz’s maiden visit to China have been announced but the possibility of visual contact between the heads of the two governments was being explored, said the sources.

The finance ministry did not officially comment on the matter.

The sources said the prospects for immediate additional cash injection by Saudi Arabia before an IMF deal were not very high. However, it is unlikely that the kingdom would withdraw $3 billion cash facility that had been secured in November last year at an interest rate of 4%.

The chances for receiving more oil on deferred payments over and above the existing limit of $100 million per month were also low, they added

Late last year, the country had secured $1.2 billion annual oil facility ($100 million per month) on deferred payment at an interest rate of 3.8%.

Instead, the sources said, Saudi Arabia has offered to facilitate Pakistan in receiving oil facility from Islamic Development Bank’s commercial arm – International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) or from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund for International Development.

But the ITFC and OPEC Fund facilities would be different from what Pakistan was seeking. Pakistan is already availing an ITFC oil facility at 4.5% interest rate.

The government had also requested the Saudi Arabia to reduce interest rates on the existing cash and oil facilities, but this seemed difficult.

Last month, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail requested the IMF to extend the programme duration from September 2022 to June 2023 and also increase the loan size from $6 billion to $8 billion.

The country’s external finances situation remain precarious, as it is left with only $10.5 billion gross official foreign exchange reserves while its monthly import bill was $6.6 billion in April.

The $10.5 billion is inclusive of $4 billion of China, $3 billion of Saudi Arabia, and $2.5 billion of the UAE deposits.

Former State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) governor Dr Reza Baqir pumped billions of dollars in the exchange market to defend the weakening rupee but ended up losing the precious reserves, the finance ministry sources said.

The PML-N-led coalition government seems in a fix over its policy choices to steer the country out of the current serious economic crisis. The IMF deal is not possible without first withdrawing the fuel subsidies but there appears to be a deep division within the government.

Some senior party leaders and cabinet ministers have advised the prime minister against increasing petrol and diesel prices, making the job difficult for the finance minister.

Currently, the government is giving Rs29 per litre subsidy on petrol and Rs73 on high speed diesel – which both the finance ministry and the IMF want to reverse.

The previous PTI government had laid landmines as it not only gave these subsidies, but provided wrong estimates of the cost. The former finance minister had initially said the fuel subsidies would cost Rs146 billion for March-June period.

However, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has already approved Rs101 billion subsidies till April 30 and the estimates for May stand at Rs102 billion.

The IMF is also receiving mixed signals, as former finance minister Ishaq Dar has publicly opposed extending the programme to June next year and increasing the fuel prices, arguing that the government should negotiate a fresh deal.

However, the time is running out as the government has made a plan to announce the fiscal year 2022-23 budget on June 10 and before that it needs an agreement with the IMF

Belt and Road initiative is moving strongly

Lets Join CPEC and BRI Projects

Pakistan appoints Admiral Amjad Khan Niazi as new naval chief

ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday appointed Vice Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi as Chief of the Naval Staff and promoted him to the rank of Admiral.

Vice Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi will succeed Admiral Zafar Mahmood who will relinquish the command of Pakistan Navy on October 7. His promotion to the rank of Admiral will be effective from the date of assuming command of Pakistan Navy.

The change of command ceremony will be held at PNS ZAFAR, Islamabad.

Admiral Amjad Khan Niazi was commissioned in Operations Branch of Pakistan Navy in 1985 and won the coveted Sword of Honour upon completion of initial training at Pakistan Naval Academy.

The newly appointed naval chief has served on various command and staff appointments.

His command appointments include command of two Type-21 ships PNS BADR and PNS TARIQ, Commander 18th Destroyer Squadron, Commandant PNS BAHADUR, Commandant Pakistan Navy War College, Commander Central Punjab Lahore, Commander Pakistan Fleet and Commander Karachi.

His distinguished staff appointments include Principal Secretary to Chief of the Naval Staff, Head of F-22P Mission China, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Training & Evaluation) and Director General Naval Intelligence.

He is a graduate of Army Command and Staff College Quetta and National Defence University Islamabad. The admiral holds a Master’s Degree in Underwater Acoustics from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China. 

Presently, he is serving as Chief of Staff (Operations) at Naval Headquarters, Islamabad.

Vice Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi is a recipient of Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military) and Sitara-e-Basalat. He has also been conferred upon the French Medal Chevalier (Knight) by the Government of France.

Learning from China

Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman FRS, N.I., H.I., S.I., T.I.

On 10th January 2020, President Xi Jinping addressed thousands of scientists in the great Peoples Hall and honoyred 9 foreign scientists with the highest scientific award of China, “the International Science and Technology Collaboration Award” of China. It was a truly humbling experience to receive the highest honour from President Xi himself in recognition of my services to build strong network of collaborations between China and Pakistan in many key scientific fields such as Artificial Intelligence, Virology, Hybrid Seed Production, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Genomics and many others. In 2014 I had received the Friendship Award from President Xi, and I had been elected as Academician (Foreign Member) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the highest Academic Honour of China. On 24th of October 2019, a very special function was held at the Hunan University of Chinese Medicine in the city of Changsha, in Hunan province of China when a large 6 storey research institute was named after me on the occasion of a major international conference. I was told that it was the first building to be named after a Muslim scientist in China, It was named as the “Academician Professor Atta-ur-Rahman One Belt and One Road Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Research Center”. The function was attended by our Federal Minister of Science and Technology, Mr. Fawad Hussain Choudhary.

In a recent report, published in the world’s leading science journal Nature, it was highlighted that “From 2000 to 2017, R&D spending in the United States grew at an average of 4.3% per year—— But spending in China grew by more than 17% per year during the same period. Several other countries, including Germany and South Korea, also increased their spending at rates that outstripped that of the United States, but they remain solidly behind the two global leaders in terms of total funding. The United States accounted for 25% of the US$2.2 trillion spent on R&D worldwide in 2017, and China made up 23%. Preliminary data from 2019 suggest that China has already surpassed the United States in R&D spending”, Unquote.

My first visit to China was in 1974 when I delivered a lecture at the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry. Even then China had begun to acquire leadership positions in some fields. The first synthesis of insulin was accomplished at that institute by Prof. Wang Yu. Massive investments in training of human resources since 1978 has propelled China as among the leading countries in the world in many fields of science, including nanotechnology, quantum computing and artificial intelligence. The amazing developments in the field of science and technology in China during the last 3 decades, has demonstrated that nations like Pakistan must give the highest priority to education, science engineering and to innovation in order to emerge from the shackles of poverty and deprivation.
China focused on Foreign Direct Investment for the joint production and export of high technology products. The stunning average GDP growth rate of 8-11% since became possible through acquiring advanced technologies from abroad and training manpower in top foreign universities to a level that has grown to 600,000 per year. About 500,000 trained students are now returning to China each year. As a result China has become a world leader in many cutting edge technologies and it has set up many highly ranked universities.

A key factor of Chinese success has been the encouragement by the Chinese government to start their own companies. The Torch Program started in 1988, provided massive funds to such enterprises and encouraged scientists working in government institutes to start businesses with government funding. A historic “Decision” taken by the State Council of China in 1999 was to take a number of measures to boost scientific enterprises. These included : (a) tax breaks to private Enterprises investing in R & D, (b) tax exemption for all income derived from the transfer or development of new technologies, (c) a reduced 6% value-added tax rate for software products developed and produced in China (d) complete VAT exemption and subsidised credit for high-tech exports, and (e) the listing of new high-technology companies on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges. Pakistan must do the same.

We must also establish a major national Innovation Fund. The Innovation Funds and Science and Technology Promotion Funds were created in China for the promotion of R&D activities. Starting from 6.3 billion yuan in 1978, the allocation was systematically increased to 124.4 billion yuan in 2004 and to over 200 billion Yuan in 2018.
In the subsequent Five Year Plans, the government has continued to emphasise the improvement of R&D capabilities and the development of its indigenous technology. This has successfully contributed to upgrading its industrial structure. The Chinese government’s R&D policy has nurtured indigenous innovation capability; developed an enterprise-centred technology innovation system and promoted the innovation capabilities of Chinese ?rms. This has contributed to huge development of technology-intensive industries in China , and resulted in increased exports of high-tech products. These include computers and telecommunications products which constitute the major share of the total high-tech exports of Special Economic Zones. In my recent meeting with the Chinese Minister of Science and Technology, H.E. Mr. Wang Zhigang, it was agreed that a joint China-Pakistan Committee should be set up for manufacture and export of high technology products involving Chinese and Pakistani industries. This could be a game changer for Pakistan if we can persuade leading Chinese industries to establish manufacturing operations in Pakistan under the CPEC initiative.

Pakistan needs to embark on the same road as that taken by China. We must start a programme to send at least 10,000 students annually to top universities of the world and attract them back through excellent salaries, research funding and infra structure. This will allow us to develop top Centers of Excellence in emerging technologies that are predicted to have an impact of US $ 100 trillion over the next decade. This requires complete commitment from our visionary Prime Minister so that Pakistan can embark on a road to developing a strong knowledge economy, as achieved by China.
The author is the Former Federal Minister of Science & Technology, former Founding Chairman of HEC and Co-Chairman of UN ESCAP Committee on Science Technology & Innovation

Billions of dollars of investments will be made in Gwadar

CEO China Overseas Ports Holding Company and Sec Maritime Affairs will hold a press conference today, 8th October, 2019.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman of China Overseas Port Holding Company honorable Mr. Zhang Baozhong said the project of Gwadar Port was first awarded to a Singaporean company that wasted many years without starting the work. He said the incumbent government of Pakistan took immediate steps to resolve our problems. The government proved that it believes on practical work.

Honorable Mr.Zhang Baozhong said people of Gwadar are very hardworking and peace-loving and a bright future awaits them with the development of Gwadar Port and other infrastructure in the city. He assured that billions of dollars of investments will be made in Gwadar that will provide a large number of jobs to the local people. He said Gwadar will become a new economic hub of Pakistan.

The CEO of China Overseas Port Holding company appreciated the Pakistan government a promising, Pakistan Army and other institutions in providing maximum facilitation to Chinese companies working on various projects in Gwadar.

Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi says work at various projects in Gwadar continues at fast pace to develop the port city to an international standard.

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Tuesday afternoon, he said Pak-China Friendship Hospital will be constructed at a cost of 100 million dollars to provide state of the art medical facilities to people.

The hospital is planned on 68 acres of land and one out of six medical blocks and almost twenty percent of the residential blocks are completed.

The Minister said a 300-megawatt coal-powered plant is also being set up in Gwadar. A plant to treat hard water for human consumption is also being established. It will process five hundred thousand gallons of water.

Ali Haider Zaidi said work on Gwadar airport is underway and it will be an international airport with world-class facilities for passengers and cargo handling.


Shipping firm, two ports removed from privatisation list

ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Thursday removed three more state-owned companies from the privatisation list and put the plan of selling a power company on the back burner which it had included in the active privatisation list 10 months ago.

The Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCOP) erased Pakistan National Shipping Corporation, Port Qasim Authority and Karachi Port Trust from the privatisation programme due to the strategic importance and profitability of these entities, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance.

These enterprises were delisted on the request of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, it added. The decision was taken in the wake of federal cabinet’s earlier move to declare shipping as a strategic industry. The maritime affairs ministry was of the view that these profitable enterprises should not be privatised.

However, like any public sector entity, these entities were also not very well managed, said sources in the Ministry of Privatisation. A key reason for their profitability was that they enjoyed preferential treatment compared to the private sector, they added. Their profitability as compared to regional peers was very low, they added.

The CCOP gave directive for excluding the Lakhra coal mines and power plant from the active privatisation list but it kept the company in the sell-off programme.

The CCOP had in October last year approved the privatisation of Lakhra Coal Development Company as part of the active sell-off programme. The company is the sole supplier of coal to the Lakhra power plant. The Privatisation Commission had expressed its inability to go ahead with the Lakhra mines privatisation due to a dispute with the Sindh government over renewal of lease agreement of the mines.

The Sindh government has turned down the request for renewal of the lease which expired in 2015 and the matter was pending before the Supreme Court. Furthermore, as per the Principal Shareholders Agreement executed by and between PMDC, Sindh government and Wapda, in case of exit by any of the parties, the remaining parties have the first right of refusal.

The CCOP also directed the Ministry of Privatisation to expedite the process of privatisation of approved public sector enterprises and advised the ministry to hire financial advisers for at least 10 state-run enterprises before the next CCOP meeting.

The CCOP empowered the Ministry of Privatisation to select any 10 units and start forthwith the process of hiring financial advisers, collectively or separately as per requirement, for the selected units. Different ministries were reluctant to cooperate with the privatisation ministry and were delaying matters. The commerce ministry had sought three months for conducting a study of the insurance sector before handing over two insurance companies for privatisation. Over nine months have passed and the commerce ministry has not yet been able to complete the study. It has sought another six months to do the work that can be done in just weeks.

The CCOP asked the privatisation ministry to take the initiative after the line ministry’s reluctance to cooperate. The government has not been able to finalise privatisation plan for Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM). There has so far been lukewarm response to the Expressions of Interest invited for hiring financial advisers for PSM’s revival or privatisation. The deadline is going to end next week.

The privatisation ministry also did not get a good response to the advertisement given for hiring consultants to sell the Jinnah Convention Centre.

CCOP Chairman Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said the government was committed to pursuing the privatisation programme, assuring the Ministry of Privatisation full institutional backing and requisite resources to fast-track the process.

The cabinet, in its meeting held on June 3, 2019, had already approved the initiation of process for hiring financial advisers for the selected 32 properties.

The Ministry of Privatisation informed the committee that the privatisation process started in January 1991 and a total of 172 transactions had been completed with total proceeds of Rs649.3 billion for the national exchequer.