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Ishaq Dar caused billions of rupees loss by halting SOEs privatisation, alleges PML-N leader

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  • Mohammad Zubair ‘disagrees’ with Dar on privatisation matters.
  • Dar proposed handing over Steel Mills to Sindh govt: ex-minister  
  • Says Dar put off PIA sell-off over opposition concerns. 

Ex-privatisation minister Muhammad Zubair held former finance minister Ishaq Dar responsible for causing a loss of billions of rupees by halting the privatisation of loss-making public sector enterprises (SOEs) during the PML-N’s 2013-2018 tenure.

In an interview with a local TV channel, Zubair alleged that the privatisation of the PIA, Steel Mills and Fesco was in the final stages when Dar stopped it and this caused a loss of billions of rupees.

He said he disagreed with several decisions of Dar regarding privatisation.

Regarding the Steel Mills privatisation, the PML-N leader said the final session of the cabinet committee on privatisation was being held when Dar proposed that the Steel Mills be not privatised but handed over to the Sindh government because then leader of the opposition Khurshid Shah of the Pakistan Peoples Party wanted that.

Zubair said he did not agree with Dar on that because he believed that such commercial entities should be run by those who were capable of running them and it was not the government’s job to run them.

He said the government had already caused massive losses by trying to run them.

The former privatisation minister said that as the cabinet committee decided to hand the Steel Mills over to the Sindh government, the federal government wrote to then Sindh chief minister Murad Ali Shah in this regard and spent around eight to 10 months in correspondence with the Sindh government, but those efforts turned out to be useless.

Zubair said the Sindh government agreed to take control of the Steel Mills on the condition that its liabilities would be retained by the federal government. Later, he added, the decision to give the Steel Mills to the Sindh government was cancelled.

Regarding the PIA, Zubair said its privatisation was discussed in multiple sessions of a parliamentary body that had representation of all parties.

He added that when it appeared that the government would go ahead with the privatisation of the PIA, Dar decided to put it off saying that the opposition parties did not believe it was the right time to privatise the PIA.

When Zubair was asked if he was stating that Dar was responsible for not privatising the Steel Mills, PIA and Fesco, he said, “It is a matter of record.”

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April FDI in Pakistan increased to $358.8 million, according to SBP

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The inflow for April was $358.8 million, up 177% from $132 million in April FY23. Still, that was 39% more than the $258 million from March.

China was the largest investor, with $439.3 million in FDI from the nation between July and April of FY24—the greatest amount—as opposed to $604 million during the same period of FY23. In April, China accounted for $177 million of the total investment.

With $51.93 and 51.89 million invested in Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Canada came in second and third, respectively.

The power industry was the main draw for foreign investors in FY24, which ran from July to April. This period’s FDI in the power industry was $637.5 million, compared to $776.2 million the previous year. From $338 million to $460 million this year, Hydel Power garnered more attention.

Continue reading: In FY23–24, Pakistan’s per capita income increased to $1680.

According to a separate data released on Wednesday, Pakistanis’ per capita income increased to $1680 in FY2023–2024.

The size of the national economy grew from $341 billion to $375 billion in the current fiscal year, according to figures made public by PBS.

Throughout this fiscal year, Pakistanis’ yearly per capita income increased by Rs 90,534; the monthly rise was Rs 7,544.

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OGRA forbids the purchase or sale of inferior LPG cylinders.

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The 313 LPG marketing and 19 cylinder-producing companies received notices from the OGRA, which described the act of refilling inferior LPGO cylinders as harmful.

Avoid supplying LPG to unlicensed distributors, the OGRA has cautioned LPG marketing companies. Only approved distributors will be able to sell and buy LPG going forward, per the notification, which states that new SOPs have been developed for the LPG industry.

Additionally, the warning said that the decision was made in an effort to preserve both lives and the business in response to an increase in cylinder blast occurrences.

Price reductions of Rs 20 per kilogramme for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) were implemented in Quetta on May 3.

There is a reduction of Rs 20 on LPG prices, which means that the price per kilogramme drops from Rs 280 to Rs 260.

The costs of LPG were reduced by Rs 20 per kilogramme earlier, bringing the total decrease to Rs 40 per kilogramme over a few weeks. This is something worth noticing.

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PIA announces a significant student discount.

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According to an airline spokesman, the national flag carrier has recently raised the baggage allowance to 60 kg.

Currently, PIA flies one flight per week on Sundays between Islamabad and Beijing.

The discount may be useful to students who intend to spend their summer vacations in Pakistan or who wish to return home after earning their degrees.

Before, students who wanted to visit China could now receive a 27% reduction on their fares through PIA.

On Eid ul Fitr, the national flag airline also reduced the cost of domestic flights by 20% for both economy and executive economy classes.

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