ISLAMABAD (News Desk) – You will be surprised to know that an Arab named Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar owes Rs80 billion to Pakistan, however incumbent government has completely forgotten about the money despite Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s promise to bring back this money by September 2013.
Julfar is the Chief Executive Officer of Dubai based Etisalat Group which bought 26% shares and administrative control of Pakistan Telecommunication Limited (PTCL) in 2005 for $2.6 billion. Under the agreement, Etisalat promised to pay $1.4 billion immediately and the remaining amount was to be paid in nine installments until September 2010.
In return, Pakistan had to handover the administrative control to Etisalat Group and transfer some properties owned by PTCL to the buyer.
The deal was fully implemented by Pakistani government, however Etisalat yet remains to make payment of about Rs80 billion to Pakistan, and surprisingly nobody is talking about this money now.
According to The Express Tribune, the 2016-17 budget books are also silent about outstanding money owned by Etisalat to Pakistan for the 2005 PTCL privatization deal.
For the fiscal year 2016-17, federal Finance Ministry has shown only Rs50 billion as privatization proceeds, while just PTCL dues make it to Rs84 billion according to current exchange rate.
Contrary to this, the amount was mentioned in the country’s budget documents till fiscal year 2014-15. The officials also confirm the fact, saying that the amount was excluded from the budget bill in the last financial year for the first time.
Meanwhile, Privatization Commission Chairman Mohammad Zubair was of the opinion that the money has not be forgotten by the government and the matter was raised with Etisalat for a number of time.
He further added that Pakistan has been creating false hopes of receiving Rs80 billion from Etisalat by mentioning the amount in budget documents, while in reality the PTCL sale-purchase deal said that value of non-transferable properties of PTCL will be deducted from the remaining dues.
According to Zubair, Pakistan had transferred about 3,215 properties of PTCL to Etisalat, however the remaining 34 properties could not be transferred. Pakistan has requested Etisalat to adjust $24 million of the remaining $92.4 million as payment of non-transferable properties and pay the remaining amount, he said.