ISLAMABAD: At a meeting of Senate Standing Committee for Privatization and Census officials of the Ministry told that during the past 27 years a total of 172 institutions have been privatized through which the government has received a sum of 64.8 billion rupees.

They said that an amendment bill will be presented in the parliament for the privatization of PIA.

Statistical officials told that the Council of Common Interest (CCI) has given approval for an amendment in Statistical Act for demarcation of new constituencies on the basis of initial results of census.

The committee has taken notice of giving seven per cent discount in the sale of left over shares of UBL, Allied Bank and Habib Bank has advised to present all relevant records in the next meeting.

The committee meeting chaired by Senator Mohsin Aziz held in parliament house. The meeting was attended among others by Senator Malik Najam Al Hasan and Saleem Mandwiwala, federal Minister for Privatization Danial Aziz and federal Minister for Statistical Kamran Michael.

On this occasion while briefing the committee the chairman Statistical Division Asif Bajwa told the meeting that more than 18 billion rupees were expended on the recent census. He said despite MQM objections in Karachi all provinces including Sindh have been satisfied with consultations. He said the Karachi population figures MQM mentioned are not correct.  In fact no notification has been issued for the last 19 years of the additional population to add in the city population. They said in 2016 according to an international survey the population of Karachi stood at 16 million. If as MQM says we presume that Karachi population is 25 million it means that the population increased 6 per cent which is impossible.

They said following the new census in CCI there are three suggestions on the new demarcation of constituencies.

First is that next general elections should be held under old census.

Second is that the elections should be postponed till the final results of the new census OR Third new demarcation of constituencies on the basis of initial results.

Four provinces have consensus on the basis of initial results. It will follow an amendment in the Census Act after approval from federal cabinet will be presented in the parliament.

Briefing the committee federal Minister for Privatization Danial Aziz said that due to the Pakistan Steel Mills, PIA and other institutions government has to bear billion of rupees deficit annually. He added had this amount been spent on the uplift of economy of the country, Pakistan would have been brought at par with Singapore.

He said today Steel Mills have payable loans of 186 billion rupees.

PIA has payable loans of more than 300 billion rupees.

He said government is providing billions of rupees more money to these institutions so that they are kept operational. He said government job is not business. And those institutions which have been privatized by the government, they are on their heights.

He said on PIA privatization bill of government despite strong criticism of opposition it was amended and prohibited the sale of administrative rights of the institution. But under the current scenario no one will dare to invest in such institutions. He said government will present an amended bill in the parliament. However all political parties will be consulted on the issue.

The committee has advised to hold consultation with Sindh government before the privatization of Steel Mills.