Federal Minister for Privatisation, Fawad Hasan Fawad, chaired a crucial meeting on Tuesday to discuss the restructuring and eventual privatization of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), signaling a significant step forward in the long-anticipated process.
The meeting brought together key stakeholders, including Adviser to Prime Minister on Aviation, Air Marshal (R) Farhat Hussain Khan, senior management, and legal/financial consultants of PIA. During the deliberations, clear and decisive timelines were established to align with the objectives set forth by the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.
In a statement released on X (formerly Twitter), Pakistan Television (PTV) News reported, "[During the meeting,] clear timelines regarding the process were agreed with a view to meet the target set by the prime minister and the cabinet." This development signifies a renewed commitment to move swiftly toward the privatization of PIA, which has been a topic of discussion for several years.
Fawad Hasan Fawad, who assumed the role of Federal Minister for Privatisation on September 12, 2023, has been tasked with spearheading this transformative process.
The urgency of PIA's privatisation was underscored last week when Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar convened a meeting to review the progress. During the meeting, he urged all relevant stakeholders to expedite the process while emphasizing the need to elevate PIA's standards to meet international benchmarks.
Notably, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has also lent its weight to the privatization effort. Informed sources have revealed that the ECC has directed a shift in focus towards privatization rather than mere restructuring, recognizing PIA's inclusion on the active list of state-owned enterprises slated for privatization.
The move to privatize PIA is seen as a pivotal step in rejuvenating the airline's financial health and operational efficiency. It also aligns with the government's broader economic reforms aimed at streamlining state-owned entities and attracting private sector investment to bolster Pakistan's economy.
As the newly established timelines for PIA's privatization begin to take shape, the nation watches with keen interest, anticipating a transformation in the fortunes of the national flag carrier.