Daniyal Aziz—the Privatisation Minister informed that the federal government would try selling the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) before the general elections that are to be held this year. He added that the ruling party is looking forward to reinitiating the sales of the state-owned entities.
The national flag carrier has been experiencing losses as its greatest market share has been taken up by the Gulf-based airlines like Etihad Airways and Emirates. The PIA management has been under crisis since recent years.
When the present government came to power back in 2013 their priority was to privatise the loss-making state-owned companies.
Also Read: PIA Employees Banned From Using Social Media
PIA was one of those institutions among the other sixty-eight state-owned companies marked for privatisation in return of a $6.7 billion IMF (International Monetary Fund) package that assisted Pakistan to board off a default in the year 2013.
The privatisation process of the airline was initially some success, but the process hindered in 2016 after the staff protects erupted which caused chaos with the airline operations and the government passed a law making it impossible to sell the airline.
But Aziz informed that new plan had been laid up for selling the Pakistan International Airlines and that he would be presenting the proposal to the cabinet committee on privatisation, which would be headed by the Prime Minister—Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
The Privatisation Minister maintained that the next step is to go to the cabinet committee and that is forthcoming and might be done next week.
The new plan targets the splitting of the airline. The core airline business wold be isolated from the peripheral operations like catering, maintenance and hotels, and then the core airline would be sold, Aziz informed.
He further added that for completing the transaction the government need to pass laws in the parliament for reversing the 2016 legislation that made PIA into a limited firm and banned the government from giving up the management control.
When inquired relating the time that the transaction would take Aziz said that if you have money then come buy it.
He also added that because of the time limitations ahead of the elections, the privatisation commission would be taking one company per sector, which includes an energy firm and a bank.
Aziz said that there had been “huge interest” in the purchase of the Pakistan Steel Mills. He added that the real challenge is to make the two big institutions of Pakistan fruitful and beneficial which are PIA and Steel Mills.