PM directs to expedite privatization process

-Highlights the importance of privatization for economic revival of the country
-Says to immediately activate the Special Technology Zones Authority
-Appoints more SAPMs, Cabinet grows to 85

By Anzal Amin

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday directed the authorities concerned to accelerate the privatisation process of public sector enterprises which had been recommended by the privatisation board.
The prime minister issued these directives while chairing a meeting to discuss the privatization process. He directed authorities concerned to ensure transparency in the privatisation of public sector organisations.
The premier also directed to accomplish the privatisation of the PSEs recommended by the pri-vatisation board in a transparent manner and as per best international practices.
The meeting was attended by federal ministers Ishaq Dar and Engineer Khurram Dastgir, Advi-sor Ahad Cheema, State Minister Musadik Malik, SAPM Jahanzeb Khan and other relevant of-ficers.
Separately today in another meeting, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, while express-ing displeasure over the performance of Special Technology Zones Authority, has formed a committee under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to make the Authority func-tional.
The ministers for information technology, Law and investment, Advisor to Prime Minister Ahad Cheema, Senator Afnanullah and the chairman CDA will be members of the committee.
The prime minister directed that the committee would submit its recommendations for activating the Special Technology Zones Authority within a week.
The premier was briefed that 400 companies are currently registered in Special Technology Zones, out of which 63 percent are Pakistani, while the rest belong to China, United States, Turkiye and other countries.
Moreover, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday has appointed more Special Assistants to the PM (SAPMs) as the federal cabinet grew to 85.
As per details, the PM has appointed five new SAPMs including member of national assembly Rao Ajmal, Shaista Parvez, Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, Muhammad Hamid Hameed, Malik Sohail Khan, Chaudhary Abid Raza and Muhammad Moeen Wattoo. It take the number of SAPMs to 40.
The federal cabinet division has also issued a notification of the appointments. Earlier, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif appointed Former Governor State Bank Tariq Bajwa as Special Assis-tant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) for finance.
Tariq Bajwa’s position would be equivalent to Minister of State.
The total number of SAPMs has spiked to 29, taking the total volume of the federal cabinet to 75. The federal cabinet includes 29 SAPMs, 35 ministers, seven ministers of state and four advisors.
However, 23 of the 29 SAPMs, including Miftha Ismail and Mian Javed Latif, have not been assigned any portfolios.