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PIA's privatization discussed with World Bank: Details inside

07:18 PM | 6 Oct, 2023
PIA's privatization discussed with World Bank: Details inside
Source: File Photo

ISLAMABAD - The national carrier of Pakistan would be privatized owing to its staggering losses and financial inviability, it was reiterated once again with a high-level team of the World Bank.

Privatisation Minister Fawad Hassan Fawad reiterated the government’s resolve to privatize the carrier as he met World Bank Resident Director Najy Benhassine. 

The minister highlighted that the government was keen to divest major loss-making state-owned enterprises to prevent the financial drain of resources and improve their performance.

During the meeting, Fawad Hassan Fawad also discussed the privatization agenda with divestment of Pakistan Internationa Airlines in focus and other state-owned entities for improving the performance of ex-Wapda distribution companies (Discos).

Mr Fawad highlighted the plans of the government regarding the privatization of the national carrier and expressed the government’s intention to engage the World Bank and other financial institutions in the process.

Fawad, further emphasized the aim to formulate a comprehensive blueprint for PIA, underscoring the World Bank's pivotal role as a potential future collaborator in providing essential support.

Amidst recurring substantial financial losses, totaling billions of rupees annually, PIA has taken center stage as the primary target for privatization. The move is seen as crucial in stemming these financial setbacks and enhancing the airline's operational effectiveness.

The deterioration of the national carrier was also reflected in the airline's own report for 2023 according to which it suffered a loss of Rs60.71 billion in the first six months of the ongoing year. PIA - once seen as a model of success by competitors like Emirates - put up with a loss of Rs41.31 billion in the corresponding period last year.

There have been demands for privatizing the national carrier due to its economic nonviability. 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 had said.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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PKR exchange rate to US dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 13 April 2024 Forex Rates

Pakistani currency remains largely same against US dollar and other currencies in open market on April 13, 2024.

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

On Saturday, the US dollar was being quoted at 277.4 for buying and 280.65 for selling.

Euro was quoted at 299.95 for buying and 302.9 for selling while British Pound stands at 349.5 for buying, and 353 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.45 and Saudi Riyal's new rates was at 73.30. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 12 April 2024

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