NA body hears of PIA’s woes, opposition to proposed privatisation

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National Assembly’s Special Committee on PIA was told on Monday that financial deficit of the Pakistan International Airline (PIA) was approximately Rs 669 million and that it received loan of Rs 174.612 billion in the previous year, while as many as 400 employees were recruited during the year.

The committee meeting was chaired by its Chairman Zahid Hamid at the parliament house. Federal Ministers including Ishaq Dar, Rana Tanveer Hussain, Abdul Qadir Baloch, Anosha Rehman and parliamentarians hailing from Awami Muslim League, MQM, Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League (Zia) attended the meeting.

While giving briefing to the committee, officials of PIA said that as many as 22 domestic and 27 international flights were operational presently.

In the year 2015, PIA has provided services to approximately 2.9 million domestic and 1.4 million international passengers, they added. The total number of employees of PIA was 14,847. They said that the national airline had received approximately 20 aircraft on lease during the previous years.

“PIA recruited 500 employees in 2010, 605 in 2011, 435 in 2012, 350 in 2013, 250 in 2014 and 400 employees in 2015,” the official said.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said during the meeting that the Privatisation Commission and committee should work together to find a solution for PIA’s problems.

“Funds would be required to increase the number of aircraft from 40 to 80 and to resolve other problems being faced by the national airline,” the finance minister said and added that it would be the utmost effort of the government to pull the PIA out of the crises it faced.

Awami Muslim League Chairman Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed said that the PIA was facing financial deficit despite reduction in petroleum prices. He further said that the number of people who had been recruited in PIA on political basis was staggering and questioned why the flights of the national airline had been closed in Glasco, Moscow, Barcelona and Chicago.

PTI’s parliamentarian Asad Umer said that PIA has no power to terminate the services of union office bearers adding that half of the PIA’s problems would be resolved if political interference in the national airline is stopped. He said that the opposition would oppose the privatisation of PIA.

The MQM parliamentarian said that the public had not benefited from the reduction in the prices of petroleum products. He said that the fares of the public transport had increased.

PML-Z leader Ejazul-Haq demanded to stop political interference in the national airline and said that it had become a white elephant and its debts had increased manifold. Minister for SAFRON Abdul Qadir Baloch said that it would take time to improve the airline.

The PIA chairman clarified during the meeting that no political recruitment had been made in PIA for the last 15 months, adding that the Airline functions as per rules and regulations of PEPRA.

The aviation secretary told the meeting that the airline had open sky rights in Saudi Arabia. The meeting of the committee was adjourned till January 19.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Who writes these articles it's GLASGOW not GLASCO further "a loan of Rs 174.612 billion" surely you mean ALOT less.

  2. Kya kahna hai aur kya sun na hai ! Kuch hai kahne sun ne ke lie ? Is Gale ki haddi se jaan chura lo to behtar hai. For years, daily reports about smart phone smuggling , drunk, delays, defects, fines from other countries and what not. Only two days ago a hostess was charged for human smuggling. The less said is better of this White elephant.

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