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Pakistan moves forward on outsourcing of three major airports

10:36 PM | 30 Mar, 2023
Pakistan moves forward on outsourcing of three major airports

ISLAMABAD - Cash-strapped Pakistan has formally initiated the process to outsource operations of its three major airports.

The Finance Ministry announced on Thursday that the airports would be run on public-private partnership, to avert the economic crisis that has impacted the country’s middle class. 

The development comes months after railways minister, Khawaja Saad Rafique, revealed that Islamabad was negotiating with Doha and would also engage the UAE to outsource operations of its Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad airports. 

He had said in January that the move would improve airport service standards and would also bring in much-needed foreign direct investment into the country which is facing balance of payment crisis and skyrocketing inflation. 

At that time, the minister had detailed that the country had acquired the services of the International Finance Corporation - a subsidiary of the World Bank - that has provided consultancy for dozens of airports.

The fresh move comes as a summary to engage the IFC as a transaction advisor for the outsourcing process was presented before the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) - country’s top economic body.

"The ECC after detailed discussion approved the draft Transaction Advisory Agreement (TASA), reached with the IFC by PCCA for outsourcing of three airports," the finance ministry stated. 

Participants of the high profile meeting were informed that 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," the statement added. 

The announcement comes as Pakistan faces unprecedented economic crisis amid negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which have been unsuccessful to this day.

Pakistan is currently seeking external financing to avoid defaulting on its obligations, as the foreign exchange reserves have dipped in recent months and the currency has been devalued to a large extent putting the burden on the working class. 

The airports in Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi are the most important of all the airports in the country and outsourcing its operations gives a clue of the severity of the economic crisis. 

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Pakistani rupee rate against US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Riyal - Check 20 April forex rates

Pakistani currency remains marginally same against US Dollar and other currencies on April 20, 2024. US dollar was being quoted at 277.5 for buying and 280.5 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 75.25 and Saudi Riyal's new rates was at 73.30. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 20 April 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.5 280.5
Euro EUR 293 296
UK Pound Sterling GBP 342.5 346
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 740.55 748.55
Canadian Dollar CAD 201 203
China Yuan CNY 38.47 38.87
Danish Krone DKK 39.78 40.18
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 903.11 912.11
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.08 58.68
New Zealand Dollar NZD 164.22 166.22
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.61 25.91
Omani Riyal OMR 723.2 731.2
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.45 77.15
Singapore Dollar SGD 204.5 206.5
Swedish Korona SEK 25.31 25.61
Swiss Franc CHF 305.47 307.97
Thai Bhat THB 7.56 7.71

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