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Saturday December 04, 2021

NAB sets sights at top PIA admin for Rs2.3 bn murky aircraft deal

August 26, 2021
NAB sets sights at top PIA admin for Rs2.3 bn murky aircraft deal

KARACHI: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has initiated an inquiry against some top officers of Pakistan International Airlines Corporation (PIAC) for alleged non-transparent acquisition of six aircraft on wet lease for Rs. 2.73 billion.

According to the official correspondence of the anti-corruption watchdog (copies of which are available with The News), notices were issued to top PIAC officers including seven members of the ‘bid opening committee’.

Almost one year ago on August 28, 2020, a subcommittee of NA Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was informed by the Auditor General of Pakistan that PIA had obtained six aircraft in 2014-15 on wet lease at a cost of Rs2.73 billion in complete disregard of the set guidelines. The subcommittee referred the case to NAB for further investigations.

The audit officials informed the sub-committee that the wet lease was expensive, and only rich airlines could easily afford it. Furthermore, in violation of rules advertisements were given for only four aircraft but six were acquired in 2014-15 and operated on local routes. The convener of the sub-committee while expressing its dissatisfaction had asked why the aircraft were obtained if there was no need and referred the case to the accountability watchdog.