ISLAMABAD – Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders (ICST) on Thursday expressed concern over stalled process of privatization.

Pakistan cannot afford the luxury of wasting over Rs500 billion annually on inefficient state-run-enterprises (SOEs) as the money can be used for welfare of masses, said Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt.

He said that majority of the entities created by the govt have proved to be white elephants in absence political will, professional management and a proper accountability mechanism. Politics has transformed state-run corporations into most unproductive segment wasting almost Rs 500b annually which is unacceptable, he added.

Shahid Rasheed Butt said that govt should bring an end to interference in these corporations or privatize them after admitting that these assets have become burdensome possession while the cost of upkeep has surpassed its worth. He said that PML-N led govt can accelerate sustainable economic growth for which more bold decisions are needed. Shahid Rasheed Butt said that sale of PIA was part of the deal with IMF but it could not be materialised due to host of problems and the national airline continue to inflict loss of Rs 3b per month while total losses has surpassed Rs 325b.

Good governance, honest measures, true accountability and just taxes on all sectors including agricultural income can help government earn reputation which is essential to push reforms agenda, he noted.

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