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PPP to oppose PIA's privatization, confirms party leader

04:10 PM | 22 Feb, 2024
PPP to oppose PIA's privatization, confirms party leader

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Peoples Party Secretary Information, Faisal Karim Kundi has said the party would not support the upcoming regime in its efforts to privatize Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

Kundi said that the party's support for PML-N in parliament would depend on the issues as the party is not joining the federal cabinet. 

On the issue of the privatization of the national carrier, the leader said the PPP would not support the privatization of the PIA as the Shehbaz Sharif-led PML-N government would want to fast-track it.

The comments of the party leader could be worrisome for the economists who had toiled hard to privatize the carrier and were waiting for the government to finalize the plan.

It is worth mentioning that the caretaker regime had decided to privatize the carrier which is a loss-making entity now. The caretaker regime had also engaged a financial adviser who had submitted a detailed sell-off plan in this regard.  

The financial adviser was roped in by the government of Pakistan after it finalized that the carrier was a white elephant and it was feasible to privatize the entity instead of bailing out the airline every month.

After detailed discussions and consulting with relevant stakeholders, the adviser submitted a comprehensive plan, containing an investment roadmap for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) as well as its immediate funding requirements.

Although complete details regarding the sell-off are awaited, reports say that the proposed plan covers the capital and fleet needs of the airline in the short- and medium-term in order to make it globally competitive.

Earlier, the Privatisation Commission board approved new rules making it possible to sell state-owned enterprises through direct negotiations to foreign nations after setting their minimum price under a competitive process.

The privatisation ministry confirmed that the board had approved the draft of the Privatisation Commission (Government to Government Agreement Mode – Manner and Procedure) Rules, 2023. 

The privatisation of the national flag carrier has been underway for months but with the new rules in place, the procedural requirements for selling any entity would be reduced.

The estimated annual losses of PIA are Rs153 billion, prompting the lawmakers to find a solution to finally get rid of the entity that was once an asset.

The calls for privatizing the airline were made during the previous regime and the follow-up deliberations led to the hiring of a financial adviser.

The privatization ministry had also promulgated the Privatisation Ordinance to remove the role of high courts in privatization transactions aimed at avoiding legal hitches.

The state-owned Pakistan International Airlines has been under fire for denting a severe blow to the national exchequer and facing hiccups due to multiple factors. Time and again, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) freezes its accounts while Pakistan State Oil (PSO) also refuses to supply oil to the carrier.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Currency Rates in Pakistan Today - Pakistani rupee to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 19 April 2024

Pakistani currency saw minor adjustment against global currencies on April 19, 2024. US dollar was being quoted at 277.4 for buying and 280.4 for selling.

Euro comes down to 293 for buying and 296 for selling while British Pound stands at 342.25 for buying, and 345.65 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.2 and Saudi Riyal's new rates was at 73.30.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 19 April 2024

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 277.4 280.4
Euro EUR 293 296
UK Pound Sterling GBP 342.25 345.65
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.2 75.9
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.3 74.05
Australian Dollar AUD 181 182.8
Bahrain Dinar BHD 740.09 748.09
Canadian Dollar CAD 201 203
China Yuan CNY 38.44 38.84
Danish Krone DKK 39.69 40.09
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.53 35.88
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.86 1.94
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 902.64 911.64
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.08 58.68
New Zealand Dollar NZD 164.22 166.22
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.31 25.61
Omani Riyal OMR 722.87 730.87
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 76.45 77.15
Singapore Dollar SGD 204.5 206.5
Swedish Korona SEK 25.31 25.61
Swiss Franc CHF 305.08 307.58
Thai Bhat THB 7.56 7.71

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