ISLAMABAD, June 20: The National Assembly’s Sanding Committee on Defence has directed the PIA management to terminate the contract of its deputy managing director who is drawing a tax-free salary of $50,000 per month for almost four years.
A meeting of the committee presided over by Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho here on Wednesday expressed concern over state of affairs in the national airlines and directed PIA Chairman/ Managing Director Air Chief Marshal (retd) Rao Qamar Suleman to terminate the contract of Saleem Siyani.
Members of the committee noted that the salary package of Mr Siyani came to more than Rs4.6 million per month because income tax on his emoluments was being paid by the airlines.
“Now we can guess reasons for the current financial standing of the PIA,” Begum Ishrat Ashraf of the PML-N said, “This also shows the sincerity of the PIA and government for a turnaround of the national flag carrier.”
The average salary of lower PIA staff is between Rs30,000 and Rs50,000 while general managers get about Rs150,000 and directors have a monthly package between Rs200,000 and Rs250,000.
Talking to Dawn, Begum Ishrat Ashraf said the ‘blue-eyed’ deputy managing director made first class travel to his residence in the UAE every weekend.
The contract of Mr Siyani was signed when Capt Ijaz Haroon was managing director of the PIA.
The committee also expressed concern that the present PPP government had recruited about 15,000 people in the PIA and planning to confirm all contract employees.
The PIA chief acknowledged during the meeting that the employee-to-aircraft ratio in the national flag carrier was adverse as compared to other international airlines.
He, however, claimed that the PIA would reach the breakeven stage in one year.
He said 13 grounded aircraft would be made operational by mid-August.
Currently, the PIA has a fleet of 39 aircraft, but around 8-10 of them always remain in the hangers for maintenance.
The committee was informed that the PIA has planned to acquire new aircraft on rent to meet the growing passenger traffic demand. The members of the committee raised questions over terms and conditions of the deal presented to it about six months ago.