Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today gave the go ahead for 26 per cent privatisation of ailing national carrier PIA to boost the quality of the airline.
The decision came a day after Sharif chaired a special cabinet meeting which also focused on the loss-making Pakistan International Airlines.
Earlier this week, PIA had announced it would reduce its flights to and from India by over 60 per cent due to low passenger traffic and shortage of aircraft.
Sharif "has directed the Ministry of Privatisation and Civil Aviation Division to initiate the process of privatisation of PIA while ensuring complete transparency, adherence of all relevant codal formalities and guidelines of the superior courts", an official statement said.
Such a move would benefit people through qualitatively better service and boost the image of the national carrier both nationally and internationally, it added.
The Prime Minister gave these directions while chairing a meeting on PIA at the Prime Minister's Office today.
Sharif gave the green light for privatisation of 26 per cent shares of the airline through an open and transparent manner to make it competitive and service-oriented, the statement said.
It said the government is fully committed to reform and restructuring of all ailing state enterprises, including PIA and directed the management of the airline to focus on their operational efficiency, cut down wasteful expenses and promote qualified professionals in the modern competitive environment of the airline industry.
Earlier Sharif, while reviewing the performance of PIA, expressed his "deep concern" over mismanagement in the affairs of the carrier and was saddened to observe that the airline has not come up to the expectations of the people, the statement said.
Sharif was also briefed about the problems and issues confronting PIA which included its declining service standards, lack of reliability and punctuality, pilferage and theft, lack of quality manpower, training and job rotation, ageing fleet, overstaffing and high loans resulting in high finance cost.
He directed the PIA management to cut down on their losses in the short term in order to make it a viable entity for privatisation.
Sharif also directed that all policy decisions to revitalise the public sector organisation would be