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Print Print 2024-02-07

Less than 48 hours before voting day: PIA restructuring, FWBL sell-off plans approved

  • Cabinet directs the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Privatisation to deal with the matters related to the PIA financial settlement of government-owned enterprises
Published February 7, 2024

ISLAMABAD: The caretaker federal cabinet has approved the restructuring of Pakistan International Airlines and the privatisation of the First Women Bank Limited on the recommendation of the Privatisation Division.

The meeting of the federal cabinet presided over by Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar was submitted recommendations for restructuring by the Privatisation Division.

The cabinet meeting was told that PIA has been facing losses for the past several years. The cabinet was informed that in the previous meetings of the cabinet, the appointment of a Financial Advisor was approved for financial and administrative restructuring of PIA.

ECP pauses flag carrier PIA’s sale

The cabinet was further told that the Financial Advisor has formulated a financial restructuring plan for the PIA in keeping with international precedents under which PIA will be divided into two companies, Top-Co and Hold-Co.

The meeting was further informed that the PIA’s core operations of engineering, ground handling, cargo, flight kitchen, and training will be incorporated into Top-Co while other entities such as Precision Engineering Complex, the PIA Investment Limited, properties, and other subsidiaries will be included in Hold-Co. These measures would help attract investors to the PIA, the meeting was further informed.

The federal cabinet also directed the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Privatisation to deal with the matters related to the PIA financial settlement of government-owned enterprises as soon as possible. The federal cabinet also approved the privatisation of First Women Bank Limited on the recommendation of the Ministry of Privatisation.

On the recommendation of the Ministry of National Health, the federal cabinet approved the proposals regarding de-regulation of the prices of those medicines which are not included in the list of essential medicines. Under these proposals, prices of drugs other than essential drugs in the National List will be exempted from the Drugs Act, 1976, and necessary amendments will be made in the Drug Pricing Policy 2018.

In addition, the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) will ensure that vitamins, multivitamins, minerals, and over-the-counter products are not prescribed to patients by doctors.

The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) will compile a list of vitamins, multivitamins, minerals, and over-the-counter products as per the prevailing international standards and will also be in touch with the provincial governments in this regard.

The federal cabinet has approved the appointment of Lieutenant General Tahir Hameed Shah as a member of the Pakistan Ordnance Factories Board and Chairman on the recommendation of the Ministry of Defense Production.

The appointment of Lieutenant General Tahir Hameed Shah will be effective from 29 November 2023. On the recommendation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the federal cabinet allowed Major Abid Mansoor Khan to receive award,“Note-e-Shujaat and “Note-e-Sharf”” from the Ministry of Defense of Saudi Arabia in recognition of his services.

The federal cabinet also allowed on the recommendation of the Ministry of External Affairs permission to Mohammad Ashraf Khan, protocol officer, to receive a gold medal from the Government of Austria in recognition of his services.

On the recommendation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the federal cabinet granted permission to Air Commodore Syed Imran Ali to receive Defense Cooperation Award First Class for his services as Defense Attaché at the Pakistani Embassy in Tokyo.

The federal cabinet has approved the recommendation of the Ministry of Law and Justice and the proposal of the chief justice of Peshawar High Court (PHC) for the conversion of four out of eight accountability courts in Peshawar into special courts.

Additionally, the cabinet also approved the proposal of chief justice PHC regarding the appointment of judges of these courts. The remaining courts will continue to function as accountability courts. These changes will not put any additional burden on the national exchequer.

The federal cabinet approved the decisions taken in the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee held on 01-02-2024.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

Comments

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KU Feb 07, 2024 12:28pm
Well, if true, one SOE to be privatised and over 190 SOEs to go, yet it is surreal.
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Tulukan Mairandi Feb 07, 2024 04:31pm
Excellent. The loot in full swing
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