Caretaker Government Confirms Financial Adviser Appointment for PIA Privatization

The consortium led by Ernst & Young has emerged as the successful bidder, according to an official announcement on Friday. The Privatization Board, chaired by Federal Minister for Privatization Fawad Hasan Fawad, officially appointed a financial adviser to oversee the privatization of the state-owned Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

Acknowledging the transparency of the selection process, the Privatization Board’s decision reflects the caretaker federal government’s commitment to address the persistent financial challenges faced by PIA over the years. Former Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan’s revelation about fake licenses among PIA pilots has added to the airline’s troubles.

Despite the recent injection of Rs8 billion ($28.8 million) in financial support, the caretaker government, under the guidance of Caretaker Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Solangi, remains committed to the privatization process. Minister Solangi confirmed PIA’s presence on the privatization list, emphasizing the implementation of the plan devised by the previous administration.

Responding to concerns raised in the Upper Chamber of Parliament, Minister Solangi highlighted the revival of PIA’s halted flight operations after securing funds. The move to privatize PIA has been a longstanding demand, with figures like former Aviation Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique emphasizing the necessity to avoid a complete shutdown of operations.

The decision to include PIA in the list of active privatization projects was made during the final days of the PDM regime, as decided in a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Privatization chaired by then Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. This decision followed a parliamentary amendment to include PIA in the ongoing privatization program.

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