The Senate was informed on Friday that 39 public sector enterprises are on the active list of government for privatization.

Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told the House during question hour, privatization programme includes divestment in various entities especially in oil and gas, power and financial sectors.

Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq categorically said that the government is giving preference to the development of western route of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.

Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch told the House that under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Project power plants of five thousand megawatt will be installed in Punjab, four thousand in Sindh, three hundred in Balochistan, eleven hundred in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and twelve hundred in Azad Kashmir.

Winding up debate on the report on implementation of National Finance Commission (NFC) Award in Senate , Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has expressed the desire to finalize new NFC Award as early as possible.

He clarified that the extension of the 7th NFC Award is not unconstitutional. He said the 7th National Finance Commission Award will continue till the country arrives at a new award.

The Finance Minister said that the royalty on gas and oil is being timely paid to the provinces.

Ishaq Dar regretted that the tax to GDP ratio fixed at 15 percent under the 7th NFC Award could not be achieved by 2013. He said the government has however, made efforts to enhance it.

Meanwhile, speaking on an adjournment motion moved by Sherry Rehman, the Finance Minister invited all political parties to sit together and work out a joint roadmap for strengthening economy.         

Ishaq Dar clarified that the external public debt stands at over 18 trillion rupees and this would have been far higher if the government had not reduced the fiscal deficit to 5.37 percent. He said the fiscal deficit will be further reduced in years to come.

The Finance Minister said the government took loan from the IMF to repay the previous loans. He said transparency was also ensured in floating bonds in the international market. He asked the political parties not to mislead the nation on the issue of external debt.         

Ishaq Dar said the government is also facing expenses in the war on terror. He said foreign countries had committed six billion dollars to Pakistan for the expenses it incurred on the war but only received 350 million dollars.          

The Minister said after assuming the power, we closed down the secret funds of 32 institutions and transferred that money to the State Bank of Pakistan.

Earlier, the members voiced their concerns over the increase in the external and domestic debt.         

The House has now been prorogued.

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