Dar claims no plans to privatise PIA

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Senator Ishaq Dar on Sunday claimed that the government has no plans whatsoever to privatise the flag-carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

According to a press release issued here on Sunday, he said that the government in fact only plans to seek a strategic partner for the airline, adding that efforts would be made to invite credible and reputed international strategic partners to the extent of 26 percent in only the core business of PIA.

He said that the process of selecting the strategic partners would be carried out ensuring complete transparency. He clarified that there would be no layoffs in PIA and all the employees would continue their jobs without any charge in their normal terms and conditions.

He said that the government had taken the initiative for restructuring exercise of PIA immediately after assuming office in June 2013 and improvement in the overall working of the airline was visible. The number of operational aircraft available with PIA had increased from 18 in June 2013 to 38 at present, adding that the figure would rise to 40 by the end of this month, he said.

The minister said that the on-time performance of PIA had improved to 82 percent which was comparable with the top Middle Eastern airlines. He said that the ordinance issued by government recently aimed at freeing the PIA management from government control and enabling it to take its decisions promptly and independently in a transparent manner in the best interests of the company and ensuring early implementation of those decisions.

The finance minister said that the government would now follow the code of corporate governance which would help create a better environment for the management by reducing legal problems and chances of fraud. He said that the confidence that all its employees would put in their best to help ensure that PIA achieved international service standards.

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