KARACHI - The national carrier suffered a fresh blow on Friday when 13 of its bank accounts were frozen.
The action was taken because of non-payment of Rs8 billion in Federal Excise Duty (FED), prompting the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to freeze the accounts.
According to FBR officials, Pakistan International Airlines' bank accounts associated with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) would also be frozen.
A decision has been made to register a first information report (FIR) against PIA officials for not submitting the FED,” said the FBR officials.
“The FED was not submitted despite the accounts being restored last month,” the official was quoted as saying by The News.
Meanwhile, a PIA spokesperson confirmed that freezing of the national carrier’s bank accounts would not affect its flight operations.
“There is contact at the government level. PIA’s accounts would be restored soon,” the spokesperson added.
The incident comes weeks after the carrier's bank accounts were frozen on July 27, over non-payment of taxes. At that time, the accounts were restored the following day after the settlement of issues between the FBR and PIA.
The national carrier is facing severe challenges with each passing day. Recently, it demanded a bailout package worth Rs 23 billion from the federal government but the request was denied.
Former Aviation Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique also stressed the importance of privatizing the carrier or else it would have to shut operations.
In the final days of the PDM regime, it was also decided to privatize loss-making Pakistan International Airlines during a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Privatization chaired by then Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
The committee “after deliberation decided to include Pakistan International Airlines Co. Ltd. in the list of active privatization projects of the ongoing privatization program, following an amendment in the law by the Parliament,” a finance ministry statement said.
The participants of the meeting also supported the hiring of a financial adviser to process the transaction of Roosevelt Hotel, New York, an asset of PIA Investment Limited.
The decision to privatize PIA comes amid measures to reduce the losses of the national exchequer through different state-owned enterprises; the national carrier is also set to resume flights to the United Kingdom and other European destinations by October.
Pakistani rupee advanced its winning momentum against US dollar, and other currencies in the open market amid strong economic cues.
On Saturday, the US dollar was being quoted at 285.15 for buying and 287.95 for selling.
Euro moves down to 309.9 for buying and 310.5 for selling. British Pound rate stands at 359.4 for buying, and 360.05 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED also moved down to 77.45 whereas the Saudi Riyal drops to 75.82.
|UK Pound Sterling||GBP||359.4||360.05|
|Hong Kong Dollar||HKD||36.38||36.48|
|New Zealand Dollar||NZD||173.44||175.44|
The price of gold fell by thousands of rupees as precious metal lost shine despite an upward trend in the international market.
On Saturday, the price of a single tola of 24-karat gold stands at Rs217,300 and 10 grams of 24k gold costs Rs186,300.
Meanwhile, single tola of 22 Karat gold costs Rs199,190, 21 karat rate costs Rs190,138 and 18k gold rate is Rs162,975.
Globally, gold prices hover at around $2072, gaining $32 on Saturday.
|Lahore||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Karachi||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Islamabad||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Peshawar||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Quetta||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Sialkot||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Attock||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Gujranwala||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Jehlum||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Multan||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Bahawalpur||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Gujrat||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Nawabshah||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Chakwal||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Hyderabad||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Nowshehra||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Sargodha||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Faisalabad||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Mirpur||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|