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February 17, 2018

PM gives go ahead to restructure PIA

National

February 17, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP) that met here on Friday with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in the chair gave go ahead to restructuring of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

The prime minister said that as this national flag carrier is making losses, so “doing nothing is an option, we have to do something”, an official who attended the meeting told The News. Under the restructuring process, core and non-core businesses of the PIA would be segregated and then some viable decision would be taken, the official said.

Regarding Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM), the committee discussed its various administrative, financial and employees-related issues. The committee also discussed the modalities for settling the outstanding due of the Sui Southern Gas Pipelines Limited (SSGCL) and National Bank. A proposal for PSM entering into a ‘concession’ agreement with investors, on revenue sharing basis, also came under discussion. The prime minister directed that all options should be explored and a comprehensive plan should also be worked out for addressing employees’ related issues.

The prime minister in his remarks observed that past mismanagement and neglect of the two important organisations had not only resulted in creation of huge financial liability, on annual basis, for the government but also caused great difficulties for the employees of the organisations.

Earlier, Minister for Privatization Daniyal Aziz gave a detailed presentation on various issues, including the financial challenges, faced by the two organisations and possible way forward for addressing those issues on permanent basis.

The prime minister specially directed that in this process, the interest of the 11,000 employees of the PSM should not get hurt.

It is worth mentioning here that operations of the PSM have been shut for the last three-and-a-half years, while the government has been paying their salaries and pensions.

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