29 September 2023
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ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Minister for Privatization Fawad Hasan Fawad on Tuesday chaired a meeting with different stakeholders regarding the restructuring of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) leading to a privatization process.

Advisor to PM on Aviation along with key members of his team, senior management and legal and financial consultants of PIA were also present, said a press release.

Clear timelines regarding the process were agreed with a view to meet the target set by the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, it added.

A few days ago, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar directed Minister for Privatization Fawad Hasan Fawad to oversee the process of privatization of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and complete it on a fast-track basis.

Related: PIA Restructuring: PM directs to submit plan at earliest

Chairing a meeting on matters related to PIA, the prime minister said process needed to be expedited urgently so as to provide a reliable service to the users and to raise the standards of the national flag carrier to match the global airline standards.

He directed all the relevant stakeholders to find an immediate solution to the matters related to the privatization.

During the meeting, the prime minister was briefed on the progress of the privatization process of PIA. He also welcomed the new caretaker privatization minister Fawad Hasan Fawad to his team.

Sources revealed that the caretaker federal government has refused to provide further funds to the debt-ridden Pakistan International Airline (PIA).

PIA woes

It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is grappling with a severe financial crisis, raising concerns about its ability to sustain air operations amidst mounting debts.

It emerged Wednesday that the bank accounts of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) were unblocked after matters between the national flag carrier and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) over non-payment of dues were settled.

Read more: PIA cancels several flights amid financial crunch

The bank accounts were unblocked after the national flag carrier assured the tax collection body of clearing all pending dues and submitted written assurance. According to FBR spokesperson, PIA will pay Rs2.5bn this month as per the agreement.

The previous Pakistani administration of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said it wanted to privatize the airline, while the caretaker government of the country has instructed relevant authorities last week to finalize its restructuring plan.

Abdul Gh Lone