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Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Monday stated the government would provide all possible support to Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) until the privatisation of the State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) is completed.

The interim PM directed relevant authorities that the process of PIA’s privatisation be accelerated and completed as soon as possible, and he should be regularly informed about the progress.

The remarks came during a review meeting of PIA’s financial affairs, which was held under the chairmanship of Kakar, read a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

As per the statement, during the meeting, progress on the privatisation of PIA was reviewed in detail. The meeting was also informed about the current financial situation of the national carrier.

While presiding over the meeting, Kakar said that by privatising the loss-making SOEs at the earliest, taxpayer money will be saved from being wasted.

The development comes after PIA ‘completely suspended’ its flight operations, as 77 flights were cancelled due to a halt in the supply of fuel by Pakistan State Oil (PSO), a PIA spokesperson on Sunday confirmed.

The spokesperson noted that 52 international and 29 domestic flights were scheduled on Sunday, of which only four flights departed.

It added that the PIA administration was in constant touch with PSO as payments could not be made due to bank closure on Sunday.

“The national carrier has paid over Rs220 million to the PSO for the weekend,” the spokesperson said, noting that the scheduled evening flights will operate as soon as today’s credit line is available while alternative connections are being provided to passengers on the affected flights.

PIA, once a shining star in the list of profitable SOEs, has been engulfed in a severe liquidity crisis for decades and lost market share over the years over poor service, inefficient management, and under-investment in its operations. Its crisis has become a bigger issue owing to its need for frequent bailouts, which many say the government – faced by its own fiscal constraints – does not afford.

Comments

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Is Oct 23, 2023 04:42pm
Give this dead body to private sector in full, 3 to 5 years down the line you will have a premium airline bringing tourists to Pakistan. For God sake use common sense. As long as the airline is under the Pakistani government's control, it will continue to fall.
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Is Oct 23, 2023 04:43pm
Why should Pakistanis pay for keeping a dead elephant alive?
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Notsurprised Oct 23, 2023 06:06pm
Why Kakar? Why should a useless airline cheating taxpayers and disgracing its customers be kept alive by loans we DO NOT even have? Instead, shut it down, let the private airlines thrive and earn huge tax revenues without investing a dime. That is what happened when banks were privatized. They went from loss makers to mega earners for the govt. But then again, what can the ultimate puppet Kakar do. He could not even run a taxi stand on his own.
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Rapid Fire Oct 23, 2023 06:11pm
We should retrofit the planes with bombs and crash them on New Delhi and Mumbai
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Tariq Sultan Oct 23, 2023 07:01pm
PIA has been purchasing jet fuel from PSO on credit since long without any credit issues. Now it seems that in order to privatise PIA, Government is willfully trying to freeze the funds thru FBR and non supply of fuel to PIA to justify its privatisation.
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IMTIAZ CASSUM AGBOATWALA Oct 23, 2023 07:40pm
I wonder what sort of financial controls exist. PSO did the right thing by suspending supplies. If PIA wants to move forward, it should stop allowing credit to agents who do not pay on time.
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Tulukan Mairandi Oct 23, 2023 07:42pm
The real support is money which the government doesn't have and is begging other countries
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Muhammad Kashif Qazi Oct 23, 2023 08:50pm
What a shame that PIA long ago was an airline which was a prode for every Pakistani and today so so many flights are cancelled due to shortage of fuel...POA can become a NATIONAL ASSET again if the senior management decides that nothing above MERIT policy is to be implemented...there isn't any rocket science in putting PIA back on track if and only if MERIT should prevail....any sincere loyal sensible Pakistani can do it...just need some straight blunt decisions...it can be done...
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Parvez Oct 23, 2023 10:05pm
More tax payer money to be eaten up by the corrupt. The answer lies in selling this white elephant.....which should have been done ten years ago.
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Bhang malang Oct 23, 2023 11:22pm
Fawwad Hassan fawwad has taken supari for target killing of PIA from care taker govt
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Bhang malang Oct 23, 2023 11:24pm
@Tariq Sultan, feels the same
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Mir Adnan Yakub Oct 24, 2023 06:53am
Politicians sold PIA routes and encashed money. Politicians inducted their own party workers in PIA , ignoring merit. Our beloved forces personnel travel on fifty percent fare. Govt officials travel on free or pays substantial amount. How can you run PIA in profit. One politician, sold one aircraft , it's in the knowledge of every one, NO ACTION. Hang / remove / snatch all above mentioned facilities mostly enjoyed by govt and forces . PIA will become into profit. Politicians,forces personnels, induction of employees by politicians to increase their vote bank should be curtailed or hang them publicly.
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Hasan Oct 24, 2023 07:39pm
I see PIA Fleet with full occupancies'where all these money goes 'is PIA giving discounted tickets to the government related people's is PIA operating on non profitable sectors where no private airline fly'.Well I guess if that is happening then PIA must stop providing these luxuries and focus on Its core business.
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Bhang malang Oct 24, 2023 09:15pm
کاکڑ صاحب نے ہی تو فواد صاحب کو سپاری دی ہے PIA کی
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Bhang malang Oct 24, 2023 09:17pm
@Tariq Sultan, you are right
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