World Economy

Pakistan Plans to Sell PIA

Pakistan Plans to Sell PIAPakistan Plans to Sell PIA

Pakistan will try to privatize its national airline before general elections due this year, privatization minister Daniyal Aziz said, as the ruling party seeks to restart sales of state-run businesses, Reuters reported. Pakistan International Airlines, hemorrhaging money and losing market share to Persian Gulf-based rivals such as Etihad and Emirates, has been hit by management turmoil in recent years and a 2016 plane crash that led to 47 deaths. The privatization of loss-making entities that were draining the exchequer was a key priority for the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party when it swept to power in 2013. PIA was among 68 state-owned companies earmarked for privatization in return for a $6.7 billion International Monetary Fund package that helped Pakistan to stave off a default in 2013. Despite some initial success, the process stalled in 2016 after staff protests caused havoc with PIA operations and the government passed a law that effectively made it impossible to privatize the airline.

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