The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called for the lease or sale of state-owned enterprises, including utility stores, in an effort to boost the country’s economic prospects, top official sources told ProPakistani.
The IMF has proposed that utility stores, a key component of the government’s public welfare initiatives, should be transferred to the private sector. Additionally, the IMF has suggested an increase in the budget allocated to the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP).
The IMF’s recommendations are based on the notion that the continued state ownership of enterprises is detrimental to the current economic situation. For now, the Ministry of Industries and Production is undecided on whether utility stores should be abolished or handed over to the private sector.
The caretaker government has not yet responded to the IMF’s proposal regarding the privatization/liquidation of utility stores. However, sources have indicated that there is also a proposal on the table to augment BISP’s annual budget by eliminating utility stores.
Sources from within the Ministry of Industries and Production said the ministry has been deliberating the fate of utility stores, but as of now, no final decision has been reached. Given the transitional nature of the caretaker government, making a definitive choice regarding the future of utility stores is a challenge, sources added.
Source: Pro Pakistani