PRIVATISATION EXPERIENCES

Privatisation was opposed by the media and general public. The theme followed by the Privatisation Commission and even the president of Pakistan was that we are privatising public sector companies for retiring debts. We were approached to under-take a nine-month project to turn-around the perception.

Strategy

We first convinced the Privatisation Commission to change their theme as in Pakistani culture selling the family silver to retire debt has a negative connotation. We gave it a new slogan “Privatisation for the people.” The messages explained that privatisation helps in getting better services to the people as it improves efficiency and reduces the burden of subsidising the loss making public sector enterprises. To begin with media was educated through seminars on the benefits of the privatisation. The present Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh was one of our main speakers. Favourable articles and TV programmes were arranged to back the transactions made by the PC during our contract period.
To improve communication of the PC with the stakeholders we wrote and published brochures and annual reports.

Results

The media stance changed considerably and we were able to get more positive coverage. Business chambers were also briefed and their support to the privatisation programme was sought.
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