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ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has decided that the restructuring plan of the Pakistan International Airlines Corporation Limited (PIACL) would be taken to the federal cabinet for a detailed discussion and approval.

The ECC meeting presided over by the Minister for Finance, Revenue, Industries and Production, Hammad Azhar, on Wednesday, was presented a summary before the ECC regarding restructuring plan of the PIACL by the Aviation Division.

The Adviser to the Prime Minister for Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr Ishrat Husain made a detailed presentation on human resource and operational restructuring of the PIACL.

He presented various options for restructuring and outlined measures to minimise losses and transform the PIACL into a financially-viable entity.

These include human resource restructuring through Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS), hiring of aviation experts, fleet modernisation, routes rationalisation, product development, and revenue enhancement measures.

After a detailed discussion, , the ECC recommended the restructuring plan of the PIACL for onward submission before the Cabinet after reconciliation of tax liability figures, with a direction to place a cap on future debt which the PIACL could take against its improved balance sheet, once restructuring plan is implemented.

An official said the meeting also directed to modernise the PIACL, if it is possible, and achieve operational efficiency as well as rationalisation of routes.

The ECC also took up Power Division’s summary on a one-time grant to Gencos for onward payment to DISCOs regarding the actuarial value of pension and pensionary benefits of surplus employees and also taking over the liability for payment of pension to existing pensioners of power plants, which are required to be shut down immediately following a decision by Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE).

After seeking detailed inputs from relevant stakeholders, the Committee directed the Power Division to deliberate further and present options for cost optimisation regarding pension liabilities.

The following Technical Supplementary Grants were approved by the ECC: (i) Rs330 million for the Ministry of Defence for the maintenance of aircrafts; (ii) Rs2,382 million for the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training for the Prime Minister’s Special Package to implement “Skill for All” strategy for TVET sector; (iiii) Rs1 billion for the Finance Division to refund the balance amount of funds of Insaf Imdad Ehsaas Programme; (iv) Rs382.280 million for the Ministry of Energy for completion of development schemes of Sindh and Balochistan provinces under PSDP; (v) Rs150 million for the Ministry of Housing and Works for funding civil works on various schemes in Balochistan, under PSD; (vi) Rs30 million for the Board of Investment for different operational expenses; and (vii) Rs280 million for the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications for consultancy and implementation of internet voting (I-voting).

Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, Federal Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan, Federal Minister for Privatization Muhammad Mian Soomro, Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Advisor to the Prime Minister for Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr Ishrat Husain, Advisor to the Prime Minister for Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood, SAPM on Power and Petroleum Tabish Gauhar, SAPM on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood, Federal Secretaries, Governor State Bank of Pakistan Dr Reza Baqir, Chairman Board of Investment (BoI) Atif R Bokhari and others participated in the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021