ISLAMABAD: It is revealed in the National Assembly’s special committee on PIA that financial deficit of National Airline was approximately Rs.669 million and it got loan of Rs. 174,612 billion in previous year; while as many as 400 employees were recruited in the year.

The committee meeting was held on Monday under the chair of Zahid Hamid, the Chairman of the committee at the parliament house. Federal Ministers including Ishaq Dar, Rana Tanveer Hussain, Abdul Qadir Baloch, Anosha Rehman and parliamentarians hailing from Awami Muslim League, MQM, Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League (Zia) attended the meeting.

While giving briefing to the committee, officials of PIA told that as many as 22 domestic and 27 international flights were operational presently.
 
In the year 2015 PIA has provided services to approximately 2.9 domestic passengers and 1.4 million international passengers respectively, they added.  A total number of employees of PIA were 14847. They said that national air line has got approximately 20 aircrafts on lease during previous years.

“In the year 2010, 500 employees, in 2011, 605, in 2012, 435, in 2013, 350, in 2014, 250 and in 2015, 400 employees were recruited in PIA”, the official added.

In the meeting, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that the Privatization Commission and committee should jointly to find out the solution of PIA’s issue.
“Funds would be required to increase the number of aircraft from 40 to 80 and there were lot of problems in the development of national airline”, the finance minister added and maintained that it would be out utmost effort to pull out PIA from crises.

Chairman Awami Muslim League Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed has said that despite reduction in petroleum prices, PIA is facing financial deficit. He further said that number of persons have been recruited in PIA on political basis and questioned the why flights of national airline have been closed in Glasco, Moscow, Barsolana and Chicago.

Asad Umer, parliamentarian of PTI said that PIA has no power to terminate the services of union office bearers adding that half of PIA problems would be resolved if political interference in national air line has abolished. Opposition would oppose the privatization of PIA.

The parliamentarian of MQM said that public has not benefited from the reduction in the prices of petroleum products. The rents of the public transport have increased.

Ejaz-ul-Haq of PML-Z has demanded to check the political interference in the national airline and said that it has become white elephant and its loans have increased manifold. Abdul Qadir Baloch Minister for SAFRON said that time would be required for the betterment of PIA.

The Chairman PIA in the meeting clarified that no recruitment has been made for the last fifteen month on any recommendation adding that PIA functions as per rules and regulation of PEPRA.

Secretary aviation told the meeting that we have open sky rights in Saudi Arabia. The meeting of the committee has adjourned by the 19 January.