ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has on Wednesday instructed the finance ministry to provide $4.5 million to the Pakistan International Airlines Corporation (PIAC) on a priority basis, after fulfilment of necessary formalities.
The prime minister, while chairing a meeting to review PIAC’s performance, assured its management that he would favourably consider the conversion of Rs8 billion worth of loans provided by the federal government into equity. The prime minister also directed the Ministry of Finance to work out a plan for rescheduling of loans worth Rs147 billion owed to different banks by PAIC, in order to ease their financial situation.
He lauded the business plan worked out by PIAC and said he hoped for a turnaround and improvement in services. The prime minister said the government would extend all possible assistance to the PIAC management to help it regain a status worthy of a national carrier.
PIAC Chairman Air Chief Marshal (retd) Rao Qamar Suleman briefed the premier on the salient features of a business plan worked out by the new management in line with directions and policy guidelines given by the president and prime minister.
On the current financial and operational problems faced by PIAC, he said that fuel costs and costs of financing were eating up a substantial part of annual revenues of Rs117 billion. He proposed short-term, medium-term and long-term plans to resolve the problems being faced by PIAC. The chairman said the business plan had been prepared to rationalise expenditures and optimise revenues.
He also requested immediate assistance worth $4.5 million for acquisition of aircraft on dry lease.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2012.