Dawn News

The $4.5 million were requested by Chairman PIA Rao Qamar Suleman for acquiring aircraft on dry lease.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Wednesday instructed the Finance ministry to provide 4.5 million dollars to Pakistan International Airlines Corporation (PIAC) on priority, after fulfilling necessary formalities.

The Prime Minister, while chairing a meeting to review the performance of PIAC, assured its management that he would favourably consider conversion of Rs 8 billion loan by the federal government into equity.

The PM directed the Ministry of Finance to workout a plan for rescheduling of loans of Rs 147 billion owed to different banks by PAIC, to ease their financial situation.

He lauded the business plan worked out by PIAC and observed that he saw a ray of hope for PIAC’s turnaround and improvement in its services.

The PM said the government would extend all possible assistance to the PIAC management to regain its status worthy of a national carrier.

Chairman PIAC Air Chief Marshal (Retd) Rao Qamar Suleman in his presentation briefed PM Ashraf on the salient features of the business plan worked out by the new management.

On the current financial and operational problems faced by PIAC, he said that fuel cost and cost of financing were eating away a substantial part of the annual revenue of Rs 117 billion.

He proposed short term, medium term and long term plans to resolve the problems being faced by PIAC.

The Chairman said the business plan had been prepared with a view to rationalize expenditure on one hand while endeavoring to optimize revenues on the other.

He requested the Prime Minister to convert the federal loan of Rs 8 billion loan into equity and allow roll over of Rs 147 billion loans due to various banks.

He also requested for an immediate assistance of 4.5 million dollars for acquiring aircraft on dry lease.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Defence Syed Naveed Qamar, Minister for Finance Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Nadeem-ul-Haq, secretaries of Cabinet, Defence, Finance ministries and senior government officials.

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