PIA obtained Rs114b since 2018, federation tells SC

ISLAMABAD (Agencies): The federal government has told the Supreme Court that it has provided Rs114 billion to Pakistan International Airlines Corporation Limited (PIACL) since 2018. A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan heard the PIA plea seeking permission for the recruitment of 250 skillful workers. The PIA has sought US$40 million per year from the government.
The PIA report, submitted last week, said: “Because of the Supreme Court’s ban on new recruitments since 2018, the Pakistan International Airline is facing an extreme shortage of professional and skilled employees in the areas of flight operations; services; information and technology; and finance.” “Total separation in PIA since 2018 is 5,793 out of which 1,199 employees pertain to flight operations (pilots), flight services (cabin crew), finance and IT department and no fresh hiring has been made whereas our immediate requirement is 250 employees for the year 2023,” it further said.
During the proceeding, Additional Attorney General Rashdeen Nawaz Kasuri submitted the federation response on the PIA report, which said that since 2018 government support to PIA is Rs114 billion. It questioned 5,793 employees separated during 2018-2022 (retirement, resignation, voluntary separate scheme, early retirements and dismissal on discipline/fake degrees). It said the national flag carrier need to show the departments, from where the employees were separate, the effect on the organograms of each department. The vacancies created and reflected in the organograms needed to be filed, it further said.
The PIACL is requested to place on record the pre & post retrenchment organograms to demonstrate vacancies, relationship between different people and jobs at levels within the organisation. If vacancies exist, then to place on record the proposals stating the reasoning for required manpower by the concerned departments.
The AAG further said that the company also need to demonstrate that the efforts were made within the organisational structure to transfer any person from another department to the required position. Emails to the employees, be placed on record. Does the PIACL have a surplus pool of manpower? Were efforts made to take the required persons from the surplus pool or from within the company. Documents to be provided. The organogram of IT professionals, finance professionals and the management position need specific frequency explanation based on monthly frequency supported with the relevant provisions of flights, air navigation order & international minimum standards.
The reply said that the efforts should be made to save foreign currency as the company has sought US$40 million per year from the government. It questioned that in how many countries PIA has offices, what rent is being paid (in dollars)? How many persons from here are posted abroad? (impact in dollars) Total impact country wise need to be filed in the court, in dollars. Does PIA need expensive offices abroad when most tickets are purchased on line? What sales (country wise) have been booked through PIA offices in a year, abroad. Salman Akram Raja, appearing on behalf of the PIA, sought time to file reply on the federation statement.