PIA Board of Director be immediately dissolved

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ISLAMABAD: (APP) Sub-Committee of the Senate 's Special Committee on Performance of PIA Wednesday submitted its report before the main body, recommending immediate dissolution of Pakistan International Airlines' Board of Directors (BoD) due to inefficiency.

The sub-committee, led by Syed Muzafar Hussain Shah and comprising members Farhatullah Babar and Lt Gen (r) Abdul Qayyum, evaluated the performance and operational efficiency of PIA and recommended concrete guidelines, covering National Aviation Policy, governance, maintenance, structural flaws and issues of human resource.

Farhatullah Babar presented the report to the Special Committee, chaired by Mushahid Ullah Khan.

The report recommended to "immediately dissolve the present BoD on account of inefficiency and appoint new board consisting of civil aviation and legal experts, ex-Director Generals of Civil Aviation, Financial/Revenue wizards, HR professionals, renowned experienced PIA ex-Chief Operating Officer/Director Marketing, relevant security director of Civil Aviation and sitting Vice Chief of Air Staff as Ex-Officio members as was practice in the past. The board should elect its chairman and the government should immediately post a permanent CEO."

The committee suggested that the board should only deal with conceptual aspects and broad policy matters and devolve operational and management authority to a permanent Chief Executive Officer (CEO), having free hand in picking up his team of experts.

It said the board and CEO should 'must never' entertain any political meddling and the CEO should have full powers of hiring and firing of employees based on merit and efficiency.

Besides, the CBA should restrict its activities only to the welfare of grade 2 to 4 employees and the Associations which have illegally assumed the role of CBA should be kept in their shoes and not allowed to blackmail the management, the committee said.

It stressed that the government must constitute a Board of Financial Experts under the chairmanship of ex-President of State Bank of Pakistan Dr Ishrat Hussain to propose financial restructuring of PIA as they did for Steel Mills in 2002-2003.

The sub-committee said the new BoD should also evolve and approve a plan for manpower restructuring, ensuring that experienced technocrats and skilled manpower were retained as an asset.

For revenue enhancement, it said, the PIA management must plan fleet expansion, network integrity, route rationalization, network expansion, system automation, cargo revenue and ancillary revenue earning.

Other recommendations included improvement in services, carving out nonessential departments, setting up a state of the art IT section, separation of marketing and sales departments, outsourcing of ticketing and cargo for both national international destinations, computerization of inventory management system, handling of Flight Operation and Safety Departments by pilots, legislation to prevent capacity dumping, structured training programme for pilots and flight crews, private sector involvement in Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) functions and measures for increasing revenue.

The Special Committee appreciated the report and expressed confidence that it would help improve performance of PIA .

It expressed annoyance over PIA CEO's consistent absence from the meeting and warned that the committee would move a privilege motion against him, if he failed to appear in next meeting.

The body expressed serious concerns over inefficiency of PIA .

Among others, the meeting was attended by Ilyas Ahmed Bilour, Chaudhry Tanvir Khan, Lt Gen (r) Abdul Qayyum, Dr Ashok Kumar, Taj Muhammad Afridi, Farhatullah Babar, Kamil Ali Agha and Saleem Mandvwala, besides Secretary Aviation Division and senior officials of PIA .

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