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Pakistan: Islamabad Airport to be Outsourced for 15 Years, Says Minister

Pakistan’s Aviation Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique said on Friday (July 21) that the Islamabad airport would be outsourced for 15 years to improve its operational activities, according to a report by Geo News. Aviation Minister Rafique told the National Assembly that the move did not equate to privatisation, but instead, it aimed to bring in proficient operators to enhance airport operations. 

Rafique added that runaway and navigation operations would not be included in the outsourcing process. The minister emphasised that open competitive bidding would be ensured, allowing the best bidder to be given the opportunity to operate the airport, and the process would be profit oriented which would ultimately benefit the national exchequer. 

Twelve to 13 companies showed interest in participating in the bidding process, Rafique also said, adding the bidding would be transparent. 

Aviation minister stresses need to restructure PIA

On Friday, Khawaja Saad Rafique also stressed the need to restructure Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to address the substantial deficit, which reached 80 billion Pakistani Rupees (around $279 million) this year. The minister asserted that no employees would be laid off, and all existing staff would retain their job security and privileges. 

The above developments come as Pakistan is battling an economic crisis with staggering inflation and depleting forex reserves. On July 12, Pakistan’s central bank received $1.2 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the first tranche of a $3 billion bailout to stabilise the economy.

And a day later, the IMF said that its $3 billion bailout was aimed at “immediate efforts” and critical “steadfast policy implementation.”

“The new program will anchor the authorities’ immediate efforts to stabilize the economy with due protection for the most vulnerable, and also provide a framework for financing from multilateral and bilateral partners to support the Pakistan government’s policies,” IMF’s Director of Communications Julie Kozack said. 

“Steadfast policy implementation is critical in the period ahead, this will be critical for the success of the program and, of course, ultimately to aid and support the people of Pakistan,” Kozack added.

Source : wion news