ISLAMABAD: Minister for Finance Muhammad Ishaq Dar Monday categorically said the government had no intention to privatize Pakistan International Airlines Company (PIAC) and rights of all stakeholders would be protected.
“In the entire world, national flag carriers are run as corporate entities. We are making efforts to make PIAC a vibrant and profit-earning corporate entity in which it’s all matters will remain as it is,” he told a meeting of the National Assembly’s Special Committee on PIA. He said no employee would be laid off rather PIA would be transformed into a profit-earning entity, adding “This is the intention of the government.” PIA’s senior officials briefed the body about performance of the national flag carrier and administration’s efforts to improve its efficiency.
The statistics presented in the meeting showed that PIA was running into loss and its liabilities were piling up. As per the presentation, revenue for the year 2015-16 was expected around Rs 91 billion as compared to corresponding year’s over Rs 99 billion.
Whereas, operating expenses stood at Rs 87.217 billion, accumulated losses at Rs 255 billion and liabilities at Rs 320 billion. The meeting was informed that the PIA fleet had been strengthened by inducting more aircraft on dry-lease, and presently 22 aircraft were operating at domestic routes and 27 on international destinations.
In 2015, the officials said, PIA carried 2.9 million domestic and 1.4 million international passengers. The meeting, chaired by Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid, was attended among others by Minister for Privatization Muhammad Zubair, Lt. Gen (Retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch, Rana Tanveer Hussain, Anusha Rehman Khan, Jam Kamal Khan, Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan, Raja Muhammad Javed Ikhlas, Syed Naveed Qamar, Asad Umar, Iqbal Muhammad Ali Khan, Sheikh Rashid Ahmad and Muhammad Ijaz-ul- Haq, and senior official of PIA.
The parliamentarians thoroughly discussed PIA’s financial and administrative matters and underlined the need to improve its efficiency. Minister for Privatization Muhammad Zubair said despite strenuous efforts PIA’s losses and liabilities were contineously piling up.