ISLAMABAD: The government on Friday decided to initiate the restructuring process of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), which has already been converted into a public limited company known as PIACL.

Under the PIAC Conversion Act 2016, which was adopted unanimously by the parliament, the government was bound to complete the privatisation process by April 15 this year.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who chaired the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP) gave go-ahead to the proposal submitted by the Privatisation Commission for initiating restructuring process of PIACL, with segregating the core and non-core functions of the organisation.

The Privatisation Commission has worked out a restructuring and implementation plan, outlining segregation of the core and non-core businesses of PIACL. A corporate and financial restructuring of PIACL have also been prepared and now will be implemented by April this year as stipulated by the PIAC (Conversion) Act 2016.

Privatisation Minister Daniyal Aziz had said that the government was committed to finalising the restructuring the core business of PIACL before April 15. The government intends to sell only the core business relating to management and flight operations whereas the rest of the business would remain in the government’s control, he said.

After a detailed presentation on PIAC and the discussion that followed, the CCOP gave go-head to the proposal for initiating restructuring process in PIACL. It was decided during the meeting to segregate core and non-core functions of the organisation.

Prime Minister Abbasi while chairing the CCOP meeting observed that past mismanagement and neglect of the two important organisations of public sector – PIACL and Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) – 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.

Mr 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.

On the issue of Steel Mills, the CCOP discussed the privatisation commission’s proposal for entering into a ‘concession’ agreement with investors, on revenue sharing basis. However, the prime minister asked the privatisation commission that all options should be explored and a comprehensive plan should also be worked out for addressing employee related issues.

The meeting discussed in detail various administrative, financial and employees related issues of PSM.

Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2018

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