Friday, May 29, 2009

Prime Minister tells Punjab, Sindh to transfer properties' title in name of PTCL

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ISLAMABAD (May 29 2009): Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has directed Punjab and Sindh governments to immediately transfer the title of all properties in the name of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) without formal procedures.

Prime Minister in a letter to the Chief Ministers of Punjab and Sindh has stated that most of the properties are already in possession of the PTCL and the titles of ownership and possession thereof have been transferred to the PTCL.
There are 71 properties in Punjab and 45 in Sindh, which now need to be transferred in the name of PTCL (Etisalat). "Such transfers are vital to facilitate payment of $799 million to the GoP and help the country improve its financial position," the sources quoted the Prime Minister as saying in the letter.
He is of the view that all other modalities/procedures can be completed/settled later between the federal government and provincial governments with mutual consent.Official sources told Business Recorder that Etisalat had served a notice on GoP that in case all the balance properties are not transferred by December 31, 2008, it will surrender its right to these properties together with a surrender of corresponding payment obligations in respect of such surrendered properties.
The sources said, both the Privatisation Commission and the Punjab government have to negotiate the value of the properties and if the deal is finalised, title of the said properties will be transferred to the PTCL after 50 percent payment.
As per the agreement, federal government is responsible for payment of the value of the said properties to the provincial governments.
On June 8, 2006, the federal government had constituted an inter-provincial committee under the chairmanship of Secretary Information Technology and Telecom to settle the issue but it failed to fulfil its responsibilities.
Recently, the Prime Minister formulated another committee comprising Mian Raza Rabbani (the then Minister for Inter Provincial Co-ordination), Qamar Zaman Kaira, Raja Pervez Ashraf and the Secretary IT and Telecom. This committee did its best to resolve the issue but failed.
As per Share Purchase Agreement (SPA), GoP is required to provide clean titles of 100 percent of PTCL properties (3384 in number) by January 12, 2008. Payment of balance sums of $1.198 billion was contingent upon transferring titles to the properties in question. Three more instalments of $133 million were paid by the buyer upon transfer of the corresponding number of properties.

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