PM Pervez Ashraf told Etisalat to pay $800m after getting PTCL properties
Islamabad (Khalid Mustafa / Daily TheNews / Thursday, December 20, 2012) – With US dollar touching new high of Rs100 in the wake of fast dwindling foreign exchange reserves, the financially beleaguered Pakistan has asked Etisalat Company to pay the remaining amount of $800 million that it owes to Pakistan under the PTCL privatization deal.
The Prime Minister of the country Raja Pervaiz Ashraf stated this while talking to Etisalat delegation led by Abdul Karim Ahmad Julfar, Group Chief Executive Officer, at the Prime Minister House, one of the participants of the meeting told The News requesting anonymity.
The prime minister pointed out that there were some pending issues pertaining to sale of PTCL to Etisalat. He suggested that Etisalat nominate a team which should sit with the representatives of the government of Pakistan to resolve issues within a specified time frame so that we can move forward.
The prime minister assured the chief executive officer of Etisalat that government of Pakistan as part of its policy to encourage foreign investment shall extend all possible assistance to Etisalaat.
Etisalat CEO said that the expansion of broadband was a key to development in the country and his company would be ready to invest in the telecom sector so that Pakistan could benefit in the process.
Abdul Karim Ahmad Julfar, according to the sources, said in the meeting that the government first take effective step to bar the grey traffic of calls and resolve the issue of handing over of PTCL properties to Etisalaat, then the company will release $800 million to Pakistan.
According to top official of the Finance Ministry, under the privatisation of PTCL deal, about titles of 3,000 properties of PTCL across the country were to be transferred in the name of Etisalaat Company.
He said only 29 properties are left whereas the remaining properties are transferred to the company and as soon as the remaining issue gets resolved, Pakistan will also be given the remaining installment of $800 million of the sale proceed of PTCL.
However, according to the hand out Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has said that Pakistan and United Arab Emirates (UAE) enjoy excellent brotherly relations which have been further strengthened by economic cooperation.
Prime Minister expressed these views this morning while talking to Etisalat delegation led by Abdul Karim Ahmad Julfar, Group Chief Executive Officer, at the Prime Minister House.
The prime minister said that the auction of 3G Spectrum technology would increase the broadband connectivity in the country. While encouraging Etisalaat representatives to participate in the bidding process, the prime minister said, “We are very keen to see Etisalaat participating in the auction of 3G License Spectrum.”
The prime minister pointed out that the government had recently formed an oversight committee comprising people with impeccable integrity and repute to ensure transparency and fairness in the auction process.
Etisalat Chief Executive Officer, Abdul Karim Ahmad Julfar, said that Etislaat was a leading telecom operator globally and had a potential to invest considerably in the Telecom sector of Pakistan. He further said that he saw Pakistan as a huge market.
Etisalat, the CEO said, would like to improve the quality of broadband in Pakistan and informed the Prime Minister that his company intends to enhance its operations in the country.
Those who attended the meeting included Qamar Zaman Kaira, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Salim Mandviwala, Minister of State & Chairman Board of Investment and other senior