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ISLAMABAD: The Senate panel, on Monday, called for revamping the business of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on the model of Air India.

The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Aviation was held on Monday at the Parliament House and senior officers of the Ministry of Aviation briefed the participants on various agenda items.

The meeting was presided over by Senator Hidayatullah while it was attended by its members including Senator SaleemMandviwala, Senator Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah, Senator Umer Farooq, Senator Faisal Saleem Rahman, and senior officers from the Ministry of Aviation.

The committee was briefed on the bidding process of the Allama Iqbal International Airport, remittances due to ticket sales not being allowed to remit in foreign exchange, action against those appointed in PIA on fake degrees, setting up security agencies counters in one place at different airports, and distance of the Islamabad Airport building from the parking lot.

The committee, while deliberating details of the bidding process of the Allama Iqbal International Airport was informed that the lowest bidder M/s Sinohydro was selected after an intensive bidding process. However, the bidder now has been trying to move out of the contract.

The committee was informed that the initial requirements have also not been fulfilled that entails 10 percent performance security. The committee recommended that the contractor be summoned to the next meeting so that the matter could be reviewed in detail.

Discussing the issue of remittances due to ticket sales not being allowed to remit foreign exchange, the committee was informed that foreign airlines were under no obligation to share their financial statements with Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) including outstanding remittances.

The committee directed PCAA to provide any details regarding payments/remittances available with it to the Committee. It also recommended that representatives of airlines be invited to the next meeting for clarity on the subject.

Reviewing the matter related to action against those appointed in PIA on fake degrees, the Committee was informed that as per the recommendation of the Ministry of Law and Justice, the issue has been forwarded to the Ministry of Interior. Discussing the survival of the PIA in the Aviation Industry, the need to revamp the business on the Air India Model was stressed.

Reviewing the matter of setting up security agencies counters in one place at different airports, the committee was informed that the direction has been followed to the dot. Members asserted that maximum measure must be taken to facilitate passengers at all airports.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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