The National Privatization Commission’s ambitious plan to privatize Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) by January of the upcoming year is encountering significant hurdles, according to insider sources. These challenges primarily stem from legal complications and the formidable task of repaying loans, creating obstacles that impede the progress of the privatization process.
Despite the Caretaker Minister for Privatization, Fawad Hassan Fawad, expressing his intent to transition PIA into private hands by January, unresolved legal issues and financial constraints have overshadowed the privatization initiative. The airline’s financial constraints have become a focal point, prompting the Finance Ministry to confront a critical decision in the coming three months to address PIA’s urgent financial requirements.
Reports suggest that the privatization effort has faced setbacks, and a final decision on the restructuring of government loans for PIA has been postponed. Sources reveal that PIA has accrued substantial loans, surpassing Rs. 270 billion, from commercial banks, including the National Bank and Bank of Punjab, all backed by government guarantees.
As the situation evolves, the Finance Committee within the Treasury Department is poised to assume a crucial role in determining the ultimate decision regarding PIA’s financial needs. The intricate nature of the privatization process and the myriad challenges it faces continue to cast doubt on the viability of the plan and raise concerns about the financial stability of the national carrier.
The coming months are anticipated to be pivotal in shaping the fate of PIA’s privatization, as decisions made by the Finance Ministry and related authorities will significantly impact the airline’s future trajectory.