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The government will not take up talks until and unless the employees of PIA call off their strike, Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan said while talking to Business Recorder here on Saturday. He said the government can neither be dictated, nor can it be blackmailed on the matter of national flag carrier. Mushahid Ullah said more than 90 percent of the PIA employees want to continue with the operations but there are other factors, more likely of political in nature, who are purposefully exploiting the situation.

In the event that the PIA strike is prolonged the proposal to establish a new airline may be considered with the objective of facilitating passengers, Chairman Board of Investment (BoI) Dr Miftah Ismail told Business Recorder. According to details, the new airline would, if required, be established within 90 days to 120 days. It will operate planes on the basis of wet lease and services of the crew, staff and other human resources will be acquired through outside sources. Total strength of the company will be from 500 to 600 employees.
Seven countries including France, Britain and Germany have urged the European Union to step up action to relieve an ailing steel industry suffering from tumbling prices and cheap imports from China and Russia. Ministers from the three countries, along with Italy, Poland, Belgium and Luxembourg, sent a joint letter on Friday to the European Commission and the chair of the EU Council of Ministers.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said the low production of cotton bales may hit the projected growth target for the current fiscal year. Addressing a news conference here on Saturday the minister spoke on almost all the important issues ranging from recently concluded review with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission to growth, planned population census and tried to dispel the growing impression that he was running the economy on taking loan from abroad and consequently contributing to debt escalation as well on the issue of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). The Finance Minister was flanked by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Federal Board of Revenue Haroon Akhtar and Chairman of the FBR Nisar Khan.
National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) appears to be in a confrontational mode with the Ministry of Water and Power as the latter has expressed reservations at the undue delay in multi-year tariff determinations for power Distribution Companies (Discos). Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (Fesco), the first Disco, which received determination of multi-year tariff from Nepra, rejected it, saying that the regulator has not allowed expenditures on many counts.
Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue, Pakistan (ATIR) has ruled that Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) can take notice of any maladministration in any wing of Board (FBR) and could suggest measures to curb the maladministration while suggesting a disciplinary action against authorities is out of domain of the ATIR.
The UK-based consultancy firm, Inter-Connect Communication, hired for 3G/4G spectrum auction, will furnish its market assessment report to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) next week, it is learnt. The consultant's report after its evaluation by a committee of PTA would be submitted to the auction advisory committee formed by prime minister for the auction of unsold spectrum.