ISLAMABAD - Aviation Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique revealed the details regarding the outsourcing of Islamabad International Airport.
In his statement on Friday, the minister said the airport will be outsourced for 15 years but added that the navigational services and runway operations will not be outsourced and Civil Aviation Authority will continue to do it.
Rafique explained that International Finance Corporation (IFC), a World Bank offshoot, is the government’s consultant on outsourcing and around a dozen companies have shown interest. The lawmaker, while speaking in the National Assembly, assured that there will be competitive bidding and that public procurement rules are being completely followed.
“We are proceeding under the private-public partnership authority rules,” he said and confirmed that no one will be rendered jobless.
The minister told the legislators that Islamabad airport will be Pakistan’s first airport that will be outsourced and best international practices will be implemented.
The PML-N leader continued that Lahore and Karachi’s airports will be outsourced as well. Khawaja Saad Rafique also cited examples of neighboring countries that had done the same.
The lawmaker opined that the world’s best airport operating practices are through private operators.
Citing the example of India, Rafique said there are around eight airports whose operations have been outsourced.
'Likewise, Istanbul’s airport is outsourced, and the same is true for Madinah’s airport. There are countless examples,” he said.
The minister also clarified that outsourcing does not mean that the airport is being sold or mortgaged.
“Everyone will have job security and they will get their salaries as per the law,” Rafique assured his fellow lawmakers in his address.
Earlier, it was decided that the Islamabad International Airport will be outsourced by August 12 and formalities in this regard would be completed soon.
The government has been advocating the outsourcing of three major airports across the country at a time when a severe economic crisis is being faced by the nation.
The finance minister has already convened multiple meetings of the committee formed to engage foreign operators for outsourcing and soon Karachi and Lahore international airports would also be outsourced if the plans are executed.
The outsourcing of three airports has been kicked off within the scope of a public-private partnership to engage private investors/airport operators through a competitive and transparent process.
The investors and airport operators would be required to "run the airports, develop appertaining land assets and enhance avenues for commercial activities and to garner full revenue potential," an official statement added.
Pakistani rupee remains stable against US dollar and other currencies in the open market on February 22, 2024 (Thursday)
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.6 for buying and 282.4 for selling.
Euro comes down to 300.2 for buying and 303.2 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 350.6 for buying, and 354.1 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.2 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.45.
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