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Govt delays PIA’s privatisation for six months amid protests

Govt delays PIA’s privatisation for six months amid protests

ISLAMABAD: The government has delayed the process of privatisation of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) for six months as protests against the proposal continued by the employees of national-flag carrier.

Senate Special Committee on Performance of PIA Chairman Mushahidullah Khan, while speaking at a press conference at the Aviation Division, asked the PIA employees to call-off their strike and solve issues on negotiating table. He said the government was making sincere efforts to revive the economic situation of the financially depressed organisations.

Mushahidullah said that the rights of PIA employees would be protected and their perks and privileges, salaries and gratuity would never be affected in the new plan for reviving the national flag carrier. He made it clear that the government would go to any extent in protecting employees’ rights but it would never accept any kind of blackmailing.

The senator said Essential Services Act would be invoked if matters were not solved through dialogue.

At a high level meeting on Friday, it was agreed that government expects union leaders to support PIA’s management in reviving the national-flag carrier so that the good work done during the last two and a half years was taken forward. The meeting observed that because of the strike by PIA employees, the airline was suffering losses worth more than Rs 500 million. The announcement by the government came as protest by the employees entered the fourth day on Friday.