SC bars govt from privatising PIA without comparing best prices on OLX


ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court on Thursday barred the government from proceeding with privatisation of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) without comparing prices at the website of the global marketplace OLX.

The court gave the order while hearing a case pertaining to a suo motu notice against sales of national assets on lower prices, with the OLX website simultaneously being opened in a giant projector in the courtroom during the hearing of the case.

Irked by the heavy losses of the national flag-carrier and its proposed privatisation, the court said that a judicial commission might be constituted to calculate and redress the losses incurred upon the airline, and compare the current valuation of PIA with the best price available on OLX.

“Who is responsible for the losses? We want to know the cause of the loss and more importantly why the prices haven’t been compared anywhere online,” the court said.

“Those who have ruined this national asset are oppressors, enemies, traitors and clearly not tech savvy individuals who know how online shopping works,” the court added, maintaining that all the current advisors of PIA have no digital experience.

The bench ordered the airline to submit terms and references to its valuations, which will be put under judicial review to see how close it is to the OLX prince on offer.