Just months before the current government’s term ends, Privatization Ministry has announced selling a minority stake in PIA.
The move will be completed by April 15th and will have the government sell 49% of its share in the national airline.
Privatization Minister Daniyal Aziz broke the news, saying that PIA’s core functions will also be divided with the air transport business separated from other areas of operation until April 15th. This will be the first phase of PIA’s privatization.
At the meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Privatisation, opposition parties raised a point that the government is vying for privatization just a few months before election. After a lengthy discussion, Privatization Ministry said that a minority stake of 49% will be sold off in April, while PIA’s management will stay under the government’s control.
The government will retain its hold on the airline’s management, while also being a majority stakeholder.
PIA’s air transport business will stay under the government while other assets and liabilities will fall under a new company, which hasn’t been named yet.
Commenting about PIA’s recent string of losses he mentioned that they were from the national exchequer and not from PIA itself. The amount will be used for other welfare projects across Pakistan.
He added that the government has no choice but to initiate privatization, following the PIAC Conversion Act 2016.
Note that the privatization has been approved by the Senate Committee and not the Prime Minister. The privatization process will commence after his approval.