PIA privatization: Three Gulf countries show interest in buying national carrier

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KARACHI: As many as three Gulf countries including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have shown interest in buying the cash-strapped Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) as the government expedites its privatisation plan, ARY News reported, citing sources.

Sources privy to the matter said that the companies from the three countries have approached the Pakistan government to negotiate a deal for the PIA.

Pakistan has also given a briefing to the officials of the three Gulf countries regarding the national flag carrier.

According to sources, the PIA will be sold to the highest bidder following the conclusion of the PIA privatisation plan.

A day earlier, the federal cabinet approved an 11-member Board of Directors (BoD) of the PIA holding company to proceed with the PIA privatization process.

Read more: Important update for PIA employees after privatisation

Former State Bank of Pakistan Governor Tariq Bajwa s name was approved as the chairman of the BoD which will include as many as seven independent directors and four government officials as members of the board.

It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan began the privatization plan of the national flag carrier that has remained one of the largest loss-making entity.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Shehbaz directed the Privatization Ministry to present the final schedule for the implementation of the privatization of PIA.

During a high-level meeting regarding the privatization of Pakistan International Airlines and the restructuring of the Federal Board of Revenue in Islamabad on March 6, he emphasized ensuring transparency at all stages in the privatization process of the National Airline.

Meanwhile, sources said that the PIA Board of Governors has proposed to retire the employees, who have four years to retire in case of privatization of the institution.

Sources privy to the development said that in the meeting, the employees whose term is left for four years were suggested to retire while consultation was also held on the voluntary retirement scheme.

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