PIA Says PPRA Rules An Impediment to Getting Quality Planes

This Wednesday, Irfan Elahi, the Civil Aviation Authority Secretary said that Public Procurement Regulatory Authority’s (PPRA) rules are keeping the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) from getting better aircrafts.

The Secretary told this Senate Standing Committee in his address adding that the PPRA’s constrictions limit the national airlines from purchasing the cheapest airplanes available.

“Audit objections are raised if we go for planes in good condition.” – The Secretary responding to a critic
The meeting was headed by the Senator Talha Mehmood. The members discussed the PIA’s state saying that it has been an embarrassment to the country due to a constant stream of misconduct, inconsistency, corruption scandals, and even drug smuggling episodes.
Senator Samina Saeed contributed,
The condition of planes received from Vietnam was the worst, drugs were recovered from PIA planes, and one of the pilots was criticised for taking pictures in the cockpit. It has been 13 months and the report of the PIA ATR plane accident is yet to be made public. Some relatives of the victims of the Havelian crash, including the family of first officer Ahmed Janjua, have not yet received compensation or the insurance sum.
The Senator highlighted the tragedy of December 7th, 2016 when an Islamabad-bound plane crashed on its way to Chitral in Havelian. The victims she mentioned, their bodies were handed to their relatives after DNA-identification in the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences.
Defending his side, Elahi said that the heirs of the passengers who died at the crash were compensated fairly and paid Rs. 5 million each and Ahmed Janjua’s family was paid their rightful insurance money – his brother was appointed as a pilot in the airline as a compensation.
Reminding the meeting of the plane crash, he told that the plane’s engine malfunctioned and one of the propeller’s was inoperative.
An Air Force team had also done an investigation into how the propeller had gone out of order. Five reports are currently being prepared and they are due by April 30. After that, all details will be shared with the public. However, the main reason for the plane crash was that the engine had failed.
Hearing this, Senator Talha demanded a detailed report containing the proof of damages paid to the affected parties, he set a 3 day deadline for the submission. A clearance report for the ATR was also demanded.
The Met Director General, Ghulam Rasool discussed the issues related to the MET office telling the committee that all public flights in other countries are done under the respective MET office’s radar and that the MET offices are supposed to be affiliated in airports so they can predict and guide the airlines prior to each flight.
Contradicting the MET office’s capability, Senator Kalsoom Parveen stressed that the MET office itself needs to be placed under the Climate Change Ministry – according to her, the country suffered huge losses due to the MET office’s incompetence when they failed to predict the floods of 2010.
Adding into the argument, Ghulam Rasool justified his side saying that the MET office predicted the floods right – it was the lack of dams and flood containing systems due to which the flood outbreak occurred. He suggested,
The Met office currently has seven radars which are very old. They were installed by Japan in 1930. We are installing a new radar in Islamabad which will be made functional before the monsoon. Currently, we are depending on radars in Mangla and Lahore.
Contradicting their argument, the Senator determinedly concluded that the MET office shall not be placed within any other government institute or department.

  • PPRA rules in Mush regime were introduced with one thing in mind …”all Pakistani awam is corrupt” so there is no channel left for single sourcing/sole sourcing of anything even if there is a justification for it.

    PPRA rules can be more useful if strict exceptions are given and such exceptions if result in single source awards should be audited within a period of one year.

    Govt. of Pakistan is still living in stone age with no centralized ERP to which all government entities are connected and then single source can be audited by a federal body more on regular basis with their full access to ERP keeping an eye on procurement spend.

    Sadly bureaucracy in Pakistani is so much allergic to technology and do not want a change, either they can’t live with the change or it restricts their corruption.

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