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PIA to be upgraded on Malaysian Airlines model: Nawaz irked by very poor PIA''s show

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and directed that the national flag carrier be upgraded on the pattern of Malaysian Airlines. He also directed that the money being spent on corruption-tainted PIA be diverted to deal with power crisis. The Prime Minister gave these directives while chairing a special cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

In his remarks he said that economic development was the only way forward but terrorism and extremism were badly hampering the economic turnaround in Pakistan. He said the country was passing through difficult times and we were evolving a consensus strategy to sort out all issues confronting the nation.

He said that during his previous tenures as the Prime Minister of the country his government followed the policy of free market economy which led to faster economic growth. "We have again started with the same policy with an enlarged vision and increased vigour," the Prime Minister added.

The cabinet discussed good management practices to be adopted by the government sector to make it more effective, efficient and accountable. The Prime Minister said that PIA was incurring Rs 3.3 billion monthly losses due to its inefficiency, corruption and malpractices.

"At present we are only dealing with day to day crisis at PIA. Taxpayers'' hard earned money is being paid to PIA to bail it out of economic crises and sustain itself, and this situation cannot continue any more," the Prime Minister added. He said that this money should be invested in power sector and development of other resources instead of sustaining an inefficient PIA. He said that over-employment and low quality services have led to the downfall of the national airline, which once the best in the world. He directed the PIA management to provide a detailed briefing on the present situation of PIA and bring about concrete proposals to reform PIA.

Senator Dato'' Siri Idris Jala, Minister in Malaysian Prime Minister''s Office and CEO Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PMDU), Government of Malaysia attended the Cabinet meeting on special invitation of the Prime Minister. He shared his experiences of Malaysian Economic Programmes and Government Transformation. He informed the Cabinet that Malaysia transformed its economy by devising short term plans within the framework of its larger strategic programmes, and set time-lines for achieving those plans by giving key performance indicators.

The public as well as private sectors were involved, through well defined process, in devising these policies and making them achievable, he added. He informed the Cabinet the procedures were made simple to attract investors, both foreign and domestic. The Prime Minister said that Government of Pakistan was following an economic model whereby key development sectors had been identified and prioritised. Moreover, systems were being simplified. The Prime Minister maintained that his government had prioritized economy, energy and modernising infrastructure all over the country and investment in power sector. He added that a team of experts was working on the reforms action plan and Pakistan could learn from the success stories of Malaysia and replicate the same, he added.

The Prime Minister said that his government looked forward to working closely with Malaysian government. The Prime Minister also recalled his association with Mahatir Muhammad, the then Prime Minister of Malaysia, and said that they had extensive discussions on economic reforms and shared experiences. The Prime Minister said that a high-powered delegation would soon visit Malaysia to further strengthen co-operation particularly in the economic fields between the two countries.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013


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