ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Monday submitted a calling attention notice in Senate against the privatisation of PIA and Pakistan Steel Mills.
Drawing attention to the decision of the Cabinet Committee on privatisation on Friday the notice moved by Senator Farhatullah Babar says: “During the past five years, both PSM and PIA have accumulated huge losses to the tune of hundreds of billions. The gross and almost criminal neglect in the running of these entities gave rise to speculations whether the losses were incurred by design to create justification for their sale at throwaway prices.”
He said the PSM reached the brink of precipice after it was denied gas supply since 2015 and that too at a time the production was 65 per cent.
“The PIA reached the brink by a combination of factors including the absence of a business plan, floating Premier Service at a loss of nearly 3 billion rupees, highly expensive lease agreements, open skies policy without discussion, giving dozens of landing rights to one airline in one day and discontinuation of some important routes drastically reducing PIA’s market share,” the notice says.
Farhatullah Babar said that two facts are most pertinent: One, the recommendations of the Senate Special Committee on PIA including an overhaul of Board of Directors were not implemented even though under the Rules of Business it had become mandatory on the government to implement the same. Two, the surprising timing and manner of privatisation without reference to Parliament, involving a conflict of interest and just when the general elections are around the corner.