PM Nawaz Sharif approves privatization of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA)
Islamabad (Breaking News / September 12, 2013) – Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Thursday directed the ministry of Privatization and Civil Aviation Division to initiate the process of privatization for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) with immediate effect.
The decision was taken during a meeting chaired by the Prime Minister at the PM House in Islamabad.
The Prime Minister gave the go-ahead for an initial phase of privatisation which will see 26% of the airline’s shares privatised.
An official statement issued from the PM’s office instructed the authorities to:
“Ensure complete transparency, adherence of all relevant codal formalities and guidelines of the superior courts in the process so that not only people benefit from a qualitatively better service but the overall image of the national flag carrier also gets a boost both nationally and internationally.”
Sharif directed that the procedure be conducted “in an open and transparent manner to make PIA competitive and service-oriented.” He further asked the management of the airline to focus on their operational efficiency, cut down their wasteful expenses and promote their qualified professionals for meeting the modern day competitive environment in the air transport industry.
Sources said that minister for planning and development Ahsan Iqbal has done lot of engineering to convince prime minister for this decision as he had warned PIA of dire consequences including ‘privatisation’ if it failed to improve its services.
The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Information Minister Parvez Rashid, Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and other senior officials.
According to the officials at PM’s office, state-owned institutions such as PIA, Pakistan Steel Mills, Pakistan Railways, Wapda and others are unprofitable corporations are presently carrying losses of Rs 400-500 billion per annum.