Employees ready to buy PIA shares after privatisation

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The Joint Action Committee of PIA Employees (JACPIAE) welcomed the decision of the prime minister to privatise the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and offered to buy the shares and take over the control of the national carrier from the government.
While disagreeing that privatisation being the only solution to the PIA crisis, the spokesman of JACPIAE said nepotism, favouritism and corruption were the biggest issues of the airline which compounded financial problems during the previous managements.
The spokesperson said the committee was ready to buy these shares as the employees could not see the national asset being wasted due to nepotism and favoritism while it will directly affect their and their children’s future. Therefore, it was better that the JACPIAE representing employees of the airline, buy these shares in the name of employees because they had emotional attachment with this national asset, the spokesman said.
He added that the Joint Action Committee anticipated this move and had geared up for such a situation, “we are already in negotiation phase with few foreign and local investors and would demand from the government first right of refusal of whatever the market price of the airline share is,” he said, adding even if the employees had to beg for funds from door to door they would not let this national asset to be gifted to “someone”.
Meanwhile, the committee also welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision of taking suo motu notice of transferring Secretary Aviation and PIA Chairman Muhammad Ali Gardezi. He said the SC had taken this action at the right time because the chairman was working to root out corruption from the PIA and the aviation sector and any new appointment at this stage could be easily tricked by the aviation mafia which was playing havoc with the aviation industry in the country.
“The chairman had shown keen interest in investigating the corruption cases like deals with SABRE, fuel hedging, aircraft leasing deals and recovering the losses. His transfer shows that the mafia does not want any honest person to work for the betterment of the national airline. This incident has also put a question mark on intentions of the government regarding future of the PIA,’ he added.