PTCL Privatization Payment: Government, Etisalat Talks End in a Deadlock

Payment of remaining amount of PTCL deal: Government, Etisalat talks end in a deadlock:
KARACHI¬† (March 01, 2011) : Talks between the Government of Pakistan and Etisalat, the United Arab Emirates’ telecom giant, have ended in a deadlock, making the issue even more complicated and confusing for those who are desperately looking for an amicable solution to the on-going controversy with regard to the payment of the remaining amount to be made upon a complete transfer of PTCL properties to its name in accordance with the terms of the deal.
Sources said the government and Etisalat representatives met in Islamabad last week in the wake of concerted efforts by Pakistan to successfully persuade Etisalat to pay the remaining $800 million of the PTCL deal to overcome financial crunch the country faces, but no progress could be made.
Etisalat purchased PTCL’s 26 percent shares from the government in 2006 and withheld an amount of $800 million from the total payment to be made on the grounds that all properties listed in the Sale Purchase Agreement (SPA) should be transferred in PTCL’s name as per the terms of the SPA.
Around 3,390 properties are reportedly listed in SPA and so far around 3,100 properties have been transferred in PTCL’s favour, but the remaining around 200 properties have not been transferred as yet as those are located in different provinces and their transfer is being resisted on legal grounds. Meanwhile, the Privatisation authorities are actively pursuing the case with the provinces and some other departments, which possess PTCL’s transferable properties, for ensuring the transfer of the remaining properties as early as possible.
(Published in “Business Recorder” on March 1, 2011)

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