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PSO privatisation: Commission holds briefing for defence ministry on January 29

ISLAMABAD (January 12 2003) : The arrangements for privatisation of the Pakistan State Oil is in final stage and Privatisation Commission will brief Defence Ministry on January 29 regarding the process.

“We will brief the Defence Ministry regarding their reservation over the privatisation of the Pakistan State Oil Company before its final bidding” an official of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources told Business Recorder here on Saturday.

He said that the armed forces has raised the issue with the PC and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources that in the process of the privatisation of the big state-owned oil company meeting of strategic requirements of the country in the present geo-political situation should not be ignored.

According the armed forces stand in case of the privatisation of the PSO the lonely state-owned company with multiple resources who will ensure the supply of the fuel to them.

He said that although most of the reservations in this regard have been removed but in the meeting to be held on January 29 they (Defence Ministry) will be briefed about the final position on privatisation process.

Privatisation Commission has invited Expression of Interest (EoI) from qualified strategic investors to sell 51 percent equity stakes in Pakistan State Oil (PSO) together with management control.

Out of the five oil marketing companies Pakistan State Oil is the largest Oil Marketing Company (OMC) which is engaged in the storage, distribution and marketing of petroleum products with more then 3,750 retail outlets spread across the country.

The official also said that the pre-bidding meeting for the privatisation of the PSO will be held on January 30, the representatives of the Privatisation Commission, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, PSO and other stakeholders will attend the meeting.

Replying a query, if PSO is privatised as single entity, government of Pakistan will have no control to ensure price stability when petroleum products import and pricing are being completely deregulated, the official said that every thing will be finalised under certain term and condition and not hazardously.

It is pertinent to mention here earlier the MPNR and DG oil prepared a brief report according to which the PSO being in public sector having more then 60 percent market shares is a key player in ensuring fair market competition and price stabilisation in the country and in case of its privatisation government will lose control pricing in the country.

The official maintained that so far three companies have shown interest in the bidding of the PSO they are Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), Fauji Foundation of Pakistan and MIDROC Holding Company from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

He said that as a part of their due diligence the process, the potential bidders have completed the site visits to PSO installations.

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