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Print Print 2024-05-23

Bidding process for PIA to be aired live: Aleem

  • Says everyone has contributed to PIA's destruction, no option left but to privatise it
Published May 23, 2024

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has informed the Upper House of the Parliament to have initiated the process of privatising the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) with Privatisation Minister Aleem Khan having assured the House that the bidding process involving the state airliner’s privatisation would be “aired live.”

“Everyone has contributed to the destruction of PIA. What option do we have other than privatising it? PIA cannot be run like this. We just cannot afford to give 100 billion rupees every now and then to PIA,” he said on the floor of the House on Wednesday.

The PIA is facing a loss of Rs 830 billion, the minister said in response to a calling attention notice over “lack of transparency in all stages of divestment and privatisation of the PIA including but not limited to financial process, issuance of expression of interest, bidding, contract awarding and segregation of core and non-core assets and liabilities of PIA.”

Bidding for PIA core business to complete by June

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senators Quratulain Marri, Zamir Ghumro, Aslam Abro, Poonjo and Kazim Shah moved the calling attention notice.

Only 18 PIA aircraft are operational at the moment, the privatisation minister said.

“If more employees are hired on the basis of only 18 aircraft, then what would be the result? There are 10,000 PIA employees and only 18 aircraft,” he added.

However, Khan said, the number of PIA employees “will not look huge if the number of aircraft increased.”

He said the government is floating 50 percent of PIA shares. “So, this is like public-private partnership,” Khan said.

“It’s not the government’s job to do business; when government starts doing business the result is what that has happened to PIA,” according to the minister.

The privatisation minister assured the House that PIA privatisation would be done in a transparent manner and bidding process would be aired live. The PIA employees would remain in service till three years after the privatisation under the related policy, he said.

Meanwhile, the House passed a motion to elect the Senate Finance Committee in accordance with the proposed list.

Law Minister Azam Tarar, in his additional official capacity as Parliamentary Affairs Minister, moved the motion, authorising the chairman Senate to make changes in the committee’s composition.

Apart from that, Awami National Party (ANP) chief Aimal Wali Khan took on Faisal Vawda without naming him. “A proxy would be called a proxy,” he deplored.

“The judiciary talked about a colonel of ISI and the matter landed in this House— what kind of country is this where judiciary talks about a colonel and the issue lands here in this House,” he asked.

Earlier, speaking on the floor of the House, Vawda said, his “reputation was dented with proxy remarks.”

A day earlier, Vawda announced in Senate to move a privilege motion against Supreme Court judge Athar Minallah over “proxy remarks,” which, Vawda alleged, were directed against him.

Law minister informed the House that a case against unknown persons for attacking Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Central Information Secretary Raoof Hasan was registered and efforts were on to apprehend the culprits. The House was adjourned till Friday.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024


Comments are closed.

Mark May 23, 2024 10:01am
Where is the punishment to Ghulam Sarwar, PCAA Officials and Bureaucrats involved in the PIA licensing Scam to benefit the foreign carriers. Some heads have to roll. As should the case be with IPP's Scam.
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Az_Iz May 23, 2024 10:47am
Where would the bidding amount be utilised? Transparency needed. It seems Zardari is going to get tenant percent of the bidding value unofficially.
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Qaser Jehan May 23, 2024 11:22am
Actually he should says everyone has contributed to the destruction of PAKISTAN & Economy.
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Aamir May 23, 2024 12:42pm
Please privatize immediately PIA and all SOEs. The tax payer cannot afford to fund these organizations of corruption and bad governance.
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mustafa May 23, 2024 04:30pm
@Az_Iz, loan payment
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