SLIC delisting to be approved today

ISLAMABAD: The Privatisation Commission (PC) Board, which is scheduled to meet on Wednesday (today), will approve delisting of State Life Insurance Corporation (SLIC) from the ongoing privatisation programme-approved list of entities, sources close to Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment told Business Recorder.

Sharing details, sources said, Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCoP) in its meeting held on September18, 2019 approved the divestment of up to 20% of GoP shares in State Life Insurance Corporation through Initial Public Offering (IPO). The decision was ratified by the Federal Cabinet in a meeting held on October 1, 2019.

According to sources, pursuant to CCoP decision, Privatisation Commission approached Ministry of Commerce multiple times to complete the pre-requisite actions regarding “Corporatization of SLIC” through the legislative process to enable PC to proceed further.

The matter was also pursued at the level of Minister for Privatisation requesting the Advisor to the PM on Commerce for his personal intervention and support for expediting the long-awaited corporatization process of SLIC. However, despite repeated follow-ups, no progress has been achieved so far.

According to sources, President of Pakistan had promulgated the SLIC (Re-Organization and Conversion) Ordinance 2016, on April 06, 2016, for re-organisation and conversion of SLIC (a statutory corporation) into a public limited company, i.e., State Life Insurance Company Limited. The Ordinance was presented to the Parliament as SLIC (Re-Organisation and Conversion) Bill 2016, and was passed by the National Assembly on May 11, 2016. However, the Senate Standing Committee on Commerce proposed a few amendments to be incorporated in the Bill which could not be finalised. Presently, the proposed legislation relating to the corporatization of SLIC stands lapsed and the process has to be reinitiated by Ministry of Commerce.

The sources maintained that the Privatisation Commission maintains that it is unable to process the transaction unless corporatization is completed by the Ministry concerned. Therefore, after internal deliberations, PC has proposed to de-list the SLIC from the on-going privatisation programme, pending finalization/ approval of the Bill by the Parliament.

However, once the needed action is completed, the proposed divestment of shares of SLIC would be resubmitted to the CCoP for approval.

The sources said, the recommendations of PC Board will be submitted to the CCoP for approval and subsequently for ratification of the Federal Cabinet.—MUSHTAQ GHUMMAN