Govt plans to resolve outstanding sale proceeds row with Etisalat
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The government has planned to retrieve the outstanding sale proceeds of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited amounting to $800 million from Etisalat International, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
According to sources, the government has decided to resolve the issue pertaining to the transfer of properties to Etisalat International.
Etisalat has been holding back $800 million out of $2.6 billion bid proceeds of majority stakes in PTCL for almost 16 years now on the premise that Pakistan did not transfer titles of all the properties owned by the privatized entity.
To resolve the dispute, the government has canceled the PTCL Board membership of the executive director of the National Information Technology Board (NITB). Besides this, Advisor Ahmad Khan Cheema has been appointed as a Land Utilization Expert in the PTCL Board.
The government has also approved the appointment of Ahad Cheema as a member of the board for three years.
The federal cabinet has approved the summary forwarded by the Information Ministry through a circulation.
Etisalat has stopped the $800 million payment on the ground that Pakistan did not transfer titles of all 3,384 properties owned by the privatised entity.
Sources said that there should be a Land Utilization & Management Expert in the PTCL Board. They revealed that only 33 properties could not be transferred to Etisalat.
The UAE-based telecommunication company did not make any kind of payment to Pakistan since January 2008.
According to Etisalat, the PTCL’s asset management department had mentioned 3,384 properties while originally owning only 3,248 properties in the privatization agreement finalized in 2006.
Etisalat had made upfront payments of $1.4 billion in a couple of installments but then stopped the remaining amount of $800 million on the premise of non-transfer of all properties in the name of PTCL.
According to Etisalat, the number of non-doable properties was not 33 but 363 based on the list provided by the asset management department of PTCL as part of the sale-purchase agreement.
Reporter Awais Kiyani