The privatisation drive which began in the 1990s led to the transfer of 18 public enterprises to private holdings while others were shut down. It was expected that privatisation of these enterprises would end corruption and improve their financial condition. But even after 20 years, evidence suggests that the privatisation policy has failed and these companies have gone from bad to worse. Many of these industries have lost their assets and lands while equipment were sold off or used for other purposes. A report by the Finance Ministry states that the private companies that took over from the state have not paid their royalties yet.
The ineffectiveness of privatisation is now forcing the government to rethink its policy and explore new alternatives like management contract. The government is also considering a policy change which will prohibit private companies from completely shutting down operations of privatised entities. This may motivate owning companies to improve the economic status of their enterprises rather than looking for easy escape routes by completely shutting down operation. However, such a move will be detrimental for companies that cannot maintain their operation costs. Perhaps the government should think of taking back ownership or outsourcing management.