Government assets, SIFC, , PIA
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Islamabad: On Friday, it was revealed that all hindrances to selling government assets, including Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), have been cleared. The Federal Cabinet has given approval to issue an ordinance ensuring privatization.

Sources indicate that the Federal Cabinet has greenlit the Privatisation Commission (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023 to facilitate the privatisation of government assets, including PIA. They mention that the jurisdiction of High Courts and other courts opposing privatisation will be terminated. An Appellate Tribunal will be established to handle petitions against privatization.

Following the ordinance, only the Supreme Court can challenge the Appellate Tribunal’s decisions, and cases in High Courts and other courts will be transferred to the Tribunal. The privatisation process has been significantly hampered by legal cases, as per sources.

The decision to create the Appellate Tribunal was made to meet the demands of both domestic and foreign investors, they added.

Documents reveal that the Privatisation Commission, established under the Privatisation Commission Ordinance, 2000, aims to conclude privatisation transparently, avoiding unnecessary delays. Sections 28 to 33 of the Ordinance grant exclusive jurisdiction to High Courts, causing delays in the privatisation process. Therefore, an Appellate Tribunal is deemed necessary to address privatization issues while ensuring due process and justice.

To address issues faced by the Privatisation Commission, the Privatisation Division proposed amendments through the Privatisation Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2023. The amended Ordinance was submitted to the Cabinet Committee for the Disposal of Legislative Cases (CCLC), which approved it on December 6, 2023.

Recognizing the urgency, it was proposed to submit the CCLC decision to the federal cabinet for ratification through circulation. The Cabinet Division was requested to seek the Prime Minister’s approval for ratification of the CCLC decision by the federal cabinet through circulation.

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