Lawmakers express concerns over PIA privatisation

ISLAMABAD: Lawmakers in a legislative body on Wednesday expressed serious reservations over the proposed privatisation of the national flag carrier and suggested that a bailout package might be announced for revival of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

Lawmakers at the National Assembly Standing Committee on Privatisation were of the view that the scheme had already failed in Pakistan after the privatisation of the PTCL and that PIA might also meet the same fate if handed over to the private sector. The PIA and Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) are national assets and instead of privatisation, the government should announce bailout package for their revival, they opined during the meeting chaired by Syed Imran Ahmad Shah.

However, Minister for Privatisation Daniyal Aziz was of the view that the process of privatisation had been initiated under the Pakistan International Airlines Corporation (Conversion) Act, 2016, which had already been passed by both houses of the parliament. He said all the steps regarding sales and purchase of the assets of the PIA would be treated strictly in accordance with the parameters prescribed under the said act.

 Published in Daily Times, March 1st  2018.