Uncertainty looms large over the completion of privatisation process for the remaining 20 out of 45 state-owned enterprises (SoEs) listed by the present government for divestment.
"Despite its best efforts the commission may not be able to complete the privatisation process of the remaining industries by June next due to bureaucratic tangle and unnecessary delay by the concerned ministries," said Abdul Ahad, deputy director of privatisation commission, while talking to the FE.
The present government listed a total of 46 industries for sale after it assumed power in 2001.
But the commission completed the privatisation of 24 companies by the end of 2005 and only one company --Eastern Industries Ltd. Tejgaon, Dhaka - was handed over during January-February period of 2006 rising the total number to 25.
"The pace of privatisation in 2005 got a momentum and we hope to maintain the tempo in 2006 as well. But all the things are not going the same way," said Ahad.
Inam Ahmed Chowdhury, chairman of Privatisation Commission expressed, has reportedly expressed hope that his organisation would be able to keep pace with the progress made in 2005 when six industries were handed over to the private hands.
"Success of privatisation does not depend only on the work of the commission, rather some other factors, including the activities of the concerned ministry," said Ahad.
The companies that are in the privatisation list for this year include Asrafia Oil Mills Ltd. Khulna, Kokil Textiles Mills Ltd. Bramonbaria, Fisheries Net Factory, Chittagong Fish Harbour, Fisheries Net Factory, Comilla, Fisheries Net Factory, Mongla, Bangladesh Cold Storage, Khulna, Particle Board and Veneering Plant, Chittagong, Rangpur Sugar Mills Ltd. Gaibandha, Bangladesh Can Company Ltd. Chittagong, Standard Asiatic Oil Company Ltd. Rupali Bank Ltd. Acro Industries Ltd. Chittagong, Tiger Ware Products Ltd. Dhaka, S.A.F Industries Ltd. Jessore, Dhaka Match Factory, Dhaka and Eastern Industries Ltd. Dhaka.
Among these companies only Eastern Industries Ltd. Dhaka has been handed over to the private entrepreneurs in the first two months of the current year.