Senate rejects PIA sell-off bill

Bill was rejected as government did not take opposition into confidence about the sell-off

News Desk March 04, 2016
PHOTO: REUTERS

A Senate session on Friday rejected a bill moved by the government to convert the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Corporation into a public limited company.

The bill was rejected by the Senate panel on the basis that opposition was not taken into confidence before the sell-off plan was drafted.

Government tables PIA sell-off bill in Senate

The PIA Corporation (Conversion) Bill, 2015 was presented in the Senate on February 18 by State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab during the session chaired by Raza Rabbani. The National Assembly has already passed the bill.

PPP lawmaker Saeed Ghani said the bill should be sent to the Senate Standing Committee on PIA. The treasury benches did not object to the senator’s demand, after which the chairman referred the bill to standing committee.

The Senate panel was directed to present its report in the house within 12 days.

Govt to split flag carrier into ‘good and bad PIA’

MQM’s Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, meanwhile, called for action against the authorities for sacking daily-wage earners over their protest against the proposed privatisation of PIA. He said until the Senate approves or disapproves the bill, the PIA employees should not be fired.

Taking notice of the sackings, the Senate chairman referred the matter to the relevant standing committee as well.

PIA, one of the world’s leading airlines until the 1970s, now suffers frequent cancellations and delays and has been involved in numerous controversies over the years, including the jailing of a drunk pilot in Britain in 2013.

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