Etisalat, the Emirates Telecommunications Corporation has been given a month to pay its outstanding dues of $800 million. On Wednesday, the Senate Standing Committee on Information and Technology and Telecommunication showed their reservations on the still outstanding debt from share purchase agreement made when Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) was privatized.
In 2013, Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar said that the government will collect the amount from Etisalat, the parent company of PTCL in one year time. But, this issue dragged on and in September 2016 Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology advised the government to take serious steps to recover the outstanding amount from the company.
The telecom company bought 26pc shares of PTCL in 2005 by open bidding for a price near $ 2.6 billion. According to the agreement between the government and Etisalat, around 1000 properties were to be transferred to the telecom company. But due to government’s failure to fully transfer the properties to Etisalat, UAE telecom giant didn’t pay the money that it owed as per the deal.
Earlier, Ishaq Dar begged the UAE’s government to pursue leadership at Etisalat to pay the outstanding amount, but all in vain. The telecom company has now been asked to pay $800 million after adjusting the proportionate amount equivalent to its holding of 26 percent of the value of 33 properties.