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Tuesday 06th of January 2009
June 13, 2005

Pakistan tries to push PTCL privatisation


by Brian Turner
Pakistan tries to push PTCL privatisation

Pakistan has deployed military and paramilitary troops to Pakistan Telecommunications (PTCL) facilities to prevent PTCL employees from attempting to close the facilities in protest of the impending privatization of the government monopoly.

This move comes after the delay of sale of PTCL stock when telecommunications workers threatened a strike if the privatization took place as scheduled.

At issue is the projected lay-off of up to one-third of the company’s 61,000 workers once the new owner takes over management.

In an effort to turn around worker opposition to the sale, the Pakistan government announced two amendments to the terms of the sale of 26 percent of its shares.

It asked the new management to offer one-tenth of the 26 percent of shares to company employees at a discount, and it offered an incentive package worth Rs4.2 billion ($70 million) to workers. Still, PTCL union leaders have set a new strike deadline for Saturday.

Government officials, however, say that some of the deployed troops are trained to run telecommunications networks so that even in the event of a strike service disruptions should be “nominal”.

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Story link: Pakistan tries to push PTCL privatisation


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