PIA needs to be sold since it is now a problem: Mian Zahid Hussain

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Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain said on Friday that the first round of negotiations between the IMF and Pakistan have ended without any major disagreement and the final negotiations have started on Monday. He said Pakistan is likely to get the second tranche of $710 million after the talks’ conclusion.

Mian Zahid Hussain said the government may have to take several measures to increase its revenue, including taxing builders, retailers, wholesalers, and property dealers.

Speaking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the IMF has also asked the government for a plan to tax wealth. The IMF is also concerned about the blocking of imports.

He said that PIA, which runs 20 aircraft to feed millions, causes a loss of Rs 150 billion per year to the country, hence becoming a serious problem.

PIA should be privatised immediately, while politicians who call this airline a symbol of national prestige should be asked about the prestige of dozens of countries, including the United States, that do not have their airlines.

He said that the national airline has been turned into a political orphanage for decades, so its revival has become impossible. He warned that a delay in bailing out PIA and other failed state-owned enterprises could strain relations with the IMF again.

Mian Zahid Hussain further said that recently, PSO had stopped supplying oil to PIA due to non-payment of arrears, which affected its operations badly, and it had to suffer a loss of 30 crores per day.

The management of PIA has recently acquired a loan of eighteen billion rupees. At the same time, preparations are underway to earn another twenty-four billion, as this institution cannot survive without loans and bailouts.

On the other hand, various ministries and departments have also had to pay tens of millions to PIA for a long time. If the payment is made, the financial affairs of this institution will improve somewhat.

Mian Zahid Hussain further said that after the licensing scandal, a big conspiracy, PIA has to bear a loss of seventy-one billion rupees annually. Still, no action has been taken against those who hatched the conspiracy.

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