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Pakistan: Imran opposes ‘sale’ of national assets

The source said, “No asset will be sold without the approval of the cabinet.”

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Islamabad: A day after the federal cabinet approved an ordinance pertaining to the sale of national assets as part of the effort to tackle the economic crisis faced by the country, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan expressed his opposition to the legislation and said the “thieves” should not be allowed to sell the assets, Dawn reported on Sunday.

Khan tweeted: “How can imported government brought to power through US conspiracy, led by ‘crime minister’, whose family along with Zardari have volumes written on their corruption, be trusted with the sale of national assets and that too through bypassing all procedural and legal checks.”

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He went on to add that “These people have been plundering Pakistan for the last 30 years and are now responsible for the present economic meltdown. These thieves should never be allowed to sell our national assets in the devious manner they are attempting. The nation will never trust them with our national assets”.

This was a day after the federal cabinet gave its nod to a law proposed by the Cabinet Committee on the Inter-Governmental Commercial Transactions to sell stakes of oil and gas companies and government-owned power plants to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other countries.
As per the ordinance, courts will not be able to entertain petitions against the sale of assets and shares of state-owned companies to foreign countries.

Reports said that the proposed law will be tabled in parliament for approval as it rejected the claim made by Imran Khan that the proposed law will allow the government to sell any asset of the country without following the laid down procedure. The source said, “No asset will be sold without the approval of the cabinet.”

Defending the proposed legislation, the source said except for one deal, not a single agreement inked by Pakistan with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar materialized during the past five years as foreign states were not ready to invest through the Privatisation Commission.

Under the proposed law, foreign states will be able to invest directly in state-owned entities. “This would improve management of these entities, as the said states would bring efficient management to run these enterprises,” the source added.

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