Pakistan unveils broader privatization plan for state-owned enterprises

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Pakistan will privatize all state-owned enterprises, with the exception of strategic entities, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced on Tuesday, broadening its initial plans to take only loss-making state firms private.

The announcement came after Sharif headed a meeting on the privatization process of loss-making state enterprises, according to a statement from his office.

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It came a day after an International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission opened talks in Islamabad for a new long-term Extended Fund Facility (EFF) following Pakistan’s completion of a $3 billion standby arrangement last month.

Previously, Pakistan had only loss-making state-owned enterprises on its chopping block.

Privatization has long been on the IMF’s list of recommendations for Pakistan, a country struggling with a high fiscal shortfall.

“State-owned enterprises will be privatized whether they are in profit or losses,” the statement said.

Privatization of one of the largest loss-making enterprises Pakistan International Airline is in its final stage.

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