Published on January 11th, 2011 | by Arsalan Mir3
PTCL Etisalat Land Dispute – Under Negotiation With Provinces
We recently talked about the PTCL Etisalat land disputes with Government of Pakistan on the privatization deal in Telecom Talk Year in Review 2010. The government is now under negotiation with Provinces, particularly Sindh which holds the majority of the properties, to make way for $ 800 million being held by Etisalat because of land disputes. More in the below news from business recorder.
The federal government is in hot water over properties’ transfer issue, as provinces are demanding very high prices of the assets Pakistan is required to transfer to Etisalat of United Arab Emirates (UAE) as per revised sale purchase agreement (SPA) of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) to secure release of $800 million.
Sindh, having major portion in terms of value of the properties attached with PTCL assets to be transferred to the Etisalat, is demanding Rs 39 billion whereas the federal government is estimating total value of the PTCL properties required to be transferred to Etisalat at around Rs 10 billion.Sources said the federal government has taken up the matter at the highest level and authorised the Privatisation Commission to take up the issue and solve it on top priority basis with Sindh, which holds majority of the properties attached with PTCL.
A high level official delegation of Privatisation Commission is likely to meet Sindh Chief Secretary in the next couple of weeks to ask him to review the price already referred to the federal government for payment to ensure transfer of the properties to Etisalat, the buyer of 26 percent of PTCL offloaded in 2006 through a bidding process. Punjab and Sindh were the two provinces which were required to transfer majority of the properties to Etisalat and help the federal government get the money from it.
Since the controversial properties required to be transferred to Etisalat as per revised agreement, fall in the provinces-mostly in Punjab and Sindh-they are asking the federal government to pay them the value of these assets at market price.
“As transfer of properties attached with PTCL revised agreement is a serious issue and a reason to hold back Pakistan’s huge amount of $800 million, an official of the Privatisation Commission dealing with PTCL property issue with Sindh and other provinces, said: “We are requesting the provinces, in particular Sindh government where majority of PTCL assets attached with the deal fall, that it should review its demand of charging the payment from the Centre at market price. We are asking the provincial government to charge amenity rates of the properties to pave the way for early release of held up money of PTCL deal”.