Pakistan likely to get $799 million foreign investment arrears

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Pakistan likely to get $799 million foreign investment arrears

ISLAMABAD - Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunications (IT&T) was informed that a Dubai-based Etisalat delegation is expected to visit Pakistan this month to re-initiate talks to resolve much-awaited US $799 million outstanding dues on account of privatization of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL).

The parliamentary panel met with Rubina Khalid in chair here was also informed that "We have re-initiated process to materialize outstanding dues on account of PTCL privatization and would try to find a middle way for early resolution of the matter."

Senators including Dr Ashok Kumar, Kamran Micheal, Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh, Maulana Ghafoor Haideri, Taj Muhammad Afridi, Fida Muhammad, Engr. Rukhsana Zubairi, Rehman Malik, Ghous Muhammad Khan Niazi, Tahir Bazinjo, Secretary Privatization Commission, Irfan Ali and representatives of Ministry of IT and PTCL attended the meeting.

Secretary Privatization Commission briefed the committee and said besides focusing on new privatization policy of the government "We are in process of settling issues of PTCL and K-Electric."

He said the Commission was moving towards resolution of these issues which would definitely boost investors confidence.

He said out of US $2.60 billion, the Dubai-based Etisalat had paid US $1.8 billion to the government while remaining US $799 million outstanding dues pending on account of privatization of PTCL have not been paid so far.

According to the secretary, out of roughly 3384 properties of PTCL 34 could not be transferred by Pakistan and the entity has been informed about it.

The UAE telecom giant Etisalat has agreed to evaluate value of 34 properties which have not been transferred to the company.

The committee also discussed matter of non-payment of increased pension to the pensioners of PTCL by Pakistan Telecommunication Employees Trust (PTET) as announced by the government from time to time.