PIAF suggests Govt to convert PIA into public-private partnership model

LAHORE: Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) Chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh has suggested the government to convert PIA and other failing state-owned enterprises to a public -private partnership (PPP) model.

Talking to media on Thursday, he said that the privatization process of Pakistan International Airlines should be fully fair and transparent. Moreover, the government will have to resort to some extraordinary plans to control heavy losses to the national exchequer. It is good that the government was committed to privatize sick state-owned entities (SOEs) to save over Rs600 billion annually that were being wasted out on those entities.

“In advanced economies, role of SOEs is minimal and private sector is the most important instrument of socio-economic prosperity. Being the most employment and capital intensive organizations of the country, SOEs’ significance cannot be overlooked,” he added,

He suggested the formation of a committee comprising experts from public and private sector to revisit strategies and adopt methods that provide new impetus to SOEs.

He said that the committee shall scrutinize the broader political philosophy and vision under which SOEs will play their role in the new competitive environment,” they said.

He said during privatization process, the government should retain all the properties of PIA while the management be handed over to the strategic partners to improve the overall working of the airlines so that it could turn into a profitable institution.

He asked all opposition parties to leave the politics of dual standards which was harming the country.

Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said the government can save billions annually by privatizing the loss-making SOEs and should spend it on development projects in health, education and other sectors for the socio-economic prosperity of the country.

He said the whole process for privatizing the PIA should be totally according to law and all stakeholders be taken on board in this regard.

Irfan Iqbal sheikh said that the PIA, Pakistan Steel Mills and the Pakistan Railways have become white elephant for the national economy as these are consuming huge money of taxpayers. Almost all these organizations are facing consistent losses for the past many years mainly because of negligence on the part of their management.

PIAF Chairman, however, opposed the privatization of the Pakistan Railways and said that the railways worldwide were being run by the governments in view of public welfare.

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