ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi said on Thursday that announcement of the election date by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was a positive development.
Addressing a news conference, he welcomed the announcement on behalf of the caretaker government. It was a moment of delight that the election would be held in line with the law and the Constitution.
Flanked by Caretaker Federal Minister for Privatization Fawad Hassan Fawad, he said it was a day of despair for rumour-mongers as the ECP made the announcement regarding general elections which would be held in the last week of January 2024. The ECP had said that all the groundwork would be completed by November 30 and political parties would be given 54 days for the election campaign in line with the Election Act 2017, he added. Murtaza Solangi said the country would be run by elected representatives of the people which would bring political and economic stability.
Caretaker Minister for Privatization Fawad Hassan Fawad, out rightly rejecting any special agenda, said on Thursday that the caretaker government was fully empowered under law to expedite the process for privatization of loss-making state-owned enterprises (SOEs), initiated way back in 2001-02.
Addressing a news conference, he clarified that no addition was made to the privatization list, which was updated by the last successive elected governments. He said the previous elected government had made necessary amendments in the relevant law empowering the caretakers to carry forward the privatization process. Fawad reaffirmed that whatever authority the caretaker government was exercising, was within the ambit of law, as it was only completing the privatization process of SOEs, which was initiated by the last government but their transactions were not yet finalized.
The minister said that a time-frame was duly fixed to carry out the privatization of each loss-making entity that could not be skipped. He, however, dispelled the impression that he had been given a special task to shut down the operations of a certain organization. He said that the Privatization Commission was taking steps to reduce the losses of certain SOEs, which were a burden on the national exchequer.
Fawad said when he took over the office, it was told that the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was facing financial crisis and needed funds to fully restore its flight operations, which were provided within 48 hours. The minister advised certain elements to avoid rumours which adversely affected the financial performance and repute of state-owned enterprises listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange.