Federal Cabinet approves restructuring of PIA

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ISLAMABAD: With just two days to go for general elections, the federal cabinet on Tuesday approved the restructuring of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on the recommendation of the Privatisation Division.

Federal cabinet, in its previous meeting, approved the appointment of a financial advisor for financial and administrative restructuring of the airlines.

The cabinet meeting, chaired by Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar, was told that the financial advisor had formulated a financial restructuring plan of PIA in line with international precedents under which the airlines will be divided into two companies, Top-Co and Hold-Co.

PIA s core operations of engineering, ground handling, cargo, flight kitchen and training will be incorporated into Top-Co while other entities such as Precision Engineering Complex, PIA Investment Limited and others subsidiaries and properties will be incorporated in Hold-Co. These measures will help attract capital investors to PIA.

The cabinet also directed the cabinet sub-committee on Privatisation to deal with the matters related to settlement of government-owned enterprises with PIA as soon as possible.

Read More: ECP bars interim govt from PIA privatization

The approval came after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) barred the caretaker federal government from the privatising the national carrier – PIA.

The secretary of ECP issued a letter to the Secretary Cabinet Division, directed to halt of the privatisation process of PIA, and formally sought the records related to it.

The text in the letter highlighted that no decision related to the privatisation of PIA should be taken until the ECP s final verdict. The letter further asked to provide the relevant records and cabinet decisions regarding the privatisation.

On the recommendation of the ministry of Privatisation, cabinet also approved the privatisation of First Women Bank Limited.

Meanwhile, the cabinet – on the recommendation of the Ministry of Law and Justice and the proposal of the Chief Justice of Peshawar High Court – approved the conversion of 4 out of 8 accountability courts in Peshawar into special courts.

Apart from this, the proposal of Chief Justice Peshawar High Court was also approved by the cabinet regarding the appointment of judges of these courts.

The remaining courts will continue to function as accountability courts. These changes will not incur any additional burden on the national exchequer.

The cabinet on the recommendation of the Ministry of National Health approved the proposals regarding de-regulation of the prices of the medicines which were not included in the national list of essential medicines.

Under these proposals, prices of medicines other than essential medicines in the national list will be exempted from the Drugs Act, 1976 and necessary amendments will be made in the Drug Pricing Policy 2018.

Furthermore, the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council will ensure that doctors will not prescribe vitamins, multivitamins, minerals and over-the-counter products to the patients.

The Drug Regulatory Authority will compile a list of vitamins, multivitamins, minerals and over-the-counter products as per the prevailing international standards and will also be in touch with the provincial governments in this regard.

The cabinet also approved the decisions taken in the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee held on February 01, 2024.

Meanwhile the cabinet approved the appointment of Lt General Tahir Hameed Shah as a member and chairman of the Pakistan Ordnance Factories Board on the recommendation of the Ministry of Defense Production.

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