Pakistan has constituted a negotiation committee to finalise a deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for handing over the Karachi port terminals.
This move may mark the first intergovernmental transaction under a law enacted last year to raise emergency funds, The Express Tribune reported.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar chaired the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Inter-Governmental Commercial Transactions.
The cabinet committee decided to set up a committee to negotiate a commercial agreement between the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and the UAE government, according to the decision.
The negotiation committee has also been permitted to finalise a draft operation, maintenance, investment, and development agreement under the government-to-government arrangements with a nominated agency of the UAE for handing over the Karachi port terminals.
The negotiation committee set up to finalise a framework agreement will be headed by the Minister for Maritime Affairs, Faisal Sabzwari.
The committee members include the additional secretaries of Finance and Foreign Affairs, the special assistant to PM Jehanzeb Khan, the Chairman of the Karachi Port Terminal (KPT), and the general managers of the KPT.
Pakistan aims to reach a deal to hand over the terminals to Abu Dhabi Ports (ADP), a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Ports Group.
The UAE government had shown interest in acquiring the Karachi port terminals that were under the administrative control of the Pakistan International Containers Terminals (PICT) last year, The Express Tribune reported.
Abu Dhabi Ports, part of AD Ports Group, owns or operates 10 ports and terminals in the UAE.
Last year, the coalition government enacted the Intergovernmental Commercial Transactions Act, aimed at selling state assets on a fast-track basis to raise funds.
The country is in dire need of additional money after its deal with the International Monetary Fund has lapsed.