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Govt to start process for sale of 770 acres of state owned land

Govt to start process for sale of 770 acres of state owned land

ISLAMABAD: The government approved the initiation of a process of hiring valuers for selling nearly 770 acres of its prime land to the private sector aimed at paying off the country’s growing public debt that stood at Rs27.6 trillion.

The board of Privatisation Commission head by Mian Mohammad Soomro allowed the government to hire valuers from the market for conducting due diligence of these properties.

In the first phase, the real estate of Pakistan Post, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Commerce Division, Water Resources Division, Pakistan Sports Board, Ministry of Housing and Works and Civil Aviation Authority will be sold.

The board also decided to serve a fresh notice on joint-venture partners of Mari Petroleum Company Limited for selling the government’s 18.39% stake in the blue-chip company. It approved the hiring of an AKD Securities-led consortium as financial advisers for the sale of SME Bank Limited.

A delay in offloading the government’s shares in Mari Petroleum has adverse implications for this year’s budget deficit. Finance Minister Asad Umar is keen to conclude the divestment before June.

He said it was decided that the valuers would determine fair market prices and commercial prices of these properties aimed at maximising gains for the state.

Last month, the federal cabinet directed all the ministries to identify three properties each, free of all encumbrances and having clear documents, for their disposal. In response to that, 22 ministries identified 71 properties for sale.