The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) incurred losses worth Rs1.5 billion from flights to New York last year, Secretary Aviation Irfan Elahi informed the National Assembly's Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs on Wednesday.

He was answering a question by MNA Tariq Javed who inquired why PIA's service to New York was discontinued. Elahi also informed the committee that the service had been incurring losses for the past 10-12 years.

"Why do you not resign if the airlines is incurring such great losses?" Javed asked Elahi. At this Elahi said that he was ready to quit, adding that he was also serving as PIA chairman without receiving any extra benefits or salary.

Delimitation

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) briefed the committee on the process of delimitation, informing that the commission was ready to begin the process as soon as the relevant legislation was passed by the parliament.

Additional Secretary ECP Zafar Iqbal said that the commission's staff has already been trained and the review of electoral lists will begin next month.

The committee was informed that the ECP shall require five months to complete delimitation after receiving results of the recent census. Obtaining maps and other records will take a further one month, he said.

Tightening the process of political parties registration

The NA committee, chaired by MNA Shezra Mansab, recommended that a stricter mechanism should be adopted in registration of political parties. It suggested that the registration fee of political parties should be increased tenfold to Rs2 million.

It also recommended that a yearly fee of Rs0.5m should be imposed on political parties. Committee members also said that any expenditure by supporters of the candidate should also be included in the campaign spending.

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