ISLAMABAD: PIA is likely to take a decision on Tuesday about leasing 10 aircraft, despite objections raised by the Transparency International that the process was not transparent.
A board of directors meeting is to be held on Tuesday in this regard. PIA had issued tenders inviting offers from manufacturers, operators and even agentssome two months back but the TIP had told the PIA chairman that the tenders were not proper as they mentioned the types of aircraft which looked like a pre-set arrangement.
A PIA spokesman told The News on Monday it was correct that an urgent meeting of PIA board was being held on Tuesday but said the agenda of BoD meeting was not circulated. “I am unaware of the agenda but the process of lease of aircraft was initiated by floating a tender in the national press some two months back and everything in this regard will be done in accordance with the PPRA rules,” spokesman Syed Sultan Hasan said.
Asked if it was correct that even old 747 aircraft were being leased, the spokesman said: “Yes, the advertisement to lease 747 was published in the national newspapers some two months back. Without following the due process, no lease is possible in PIA.” To the question whether the lease deals were being negotiated in a hurry through a middle man and not from the original companies/ manufacturers, the spokesman said: “Lease deals are not at all negotiated with any middle man and the whole process is completed as per the PPRA rules and regulations. The advertisement is available on the websites of PIA as well as PPRA.”
“The lease of aircraft has nothing to do with politics. PIA is pursuing it under the PPRA rules. Question of any kickbacks cannot arise when the due process is followed.” Adil Gilani, adviser to the Transparency International Pakistan (TIP), told The News that Transparency had strongly objected to PIA’s tender for the lease of aircraft and during a recent meeting, the TIP chairman had told the new PIA chairman that almost all PIA tenders in the past four years were illegal and in violation of the PPRA rules.
Gilani said that in PIA’s tender, the name and model of the aircraft was not mentioned, which reflected that a decision to purchase certain aircraft had already been made through some middlemen and a formality was being fulfilled by publishing a tender in the national newspapers.
He said that later an adviser to PIA called on the TIP chairman and he was also told by the TIP that the entire process was not transparent. Gilani said a petition had already been moved in the Supreme Court against this, which had been accepted for hearing.