Imran Khan orders reforms in PIA to curb losses

Islamabad: As the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is running into 6 billion PKR losses per month, Prime Minister Imran Khan has ordered restructuring of the national flag carrier to diminish burden of its losses on people.

Presiding over a meeting on aviation in the backdrop of the May 22 PIA plane crash in Karachi that had claimed 97 lives, Khan said on Monday: “Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the country’s economy is facing difficulties and the people have had to bear the burden of billions of rupees loss on a monthly basis suffered by the state-owned entities.”

According to an official statement issued by the Prime Minister Office (PMO), Khan issued directives to bring down expenditures of the national flag carrier and focus on increase in its income, financial resources and upgrade of its fleet, reports Dawn news.

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He also directed to utilise domestic and foreign assets of PIA through a complete transparent and clear manner.

“The assets should create financial resources for the organisation instead of becoming a burden on the general public,” he added.

The premier was apprised that during the last 12 years ten heads of the PIA had been changed.

PIA’s Chief Executive Officer Air Marshal Arshad Malik said in the prevailing situation, the national flag carrier was running into loss of around 6 billion PKR per month, Dawn news reported.

He said 24 billion PKR was being spent yearly on the payment of salaries to PIA’s 14,500 employees alone.

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The CEO said lengthy litigation was one of the hurdles in the way of reforms in PIA as due to the legal cases, he too could not carry out his duties for a period of three months out of his 16-month tenure.

“Due to such issues, the reforms process in the organisation was badly suffered,” he added.

A timeline for restructuring of the PIA and a comprehensive roadmap over reforms and implementation was also submitted before Khan.

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