LAHORE - The business community has suggested the government to run PIA and other failing state-owned enterprises on public-private partnership (PPP) model.

They said that the privatization process of Pakistan International Airlines should be fully fair and transparent. Moreover, the government will have to resort to some extraordinary plans to control heavy losses to the national exchequer. It is good that the government was committed to privatize sick state owned entities (SOEs) to save over Rs600 billion annually that were being wasted out on those entities.

“In advanced economies, role of SOEs is minimal and private sector is the most important instrument of socio-economic prosperity. Being the most employment and capital intensive organizations of the country, SOEs’ significance cannot be overlooked,” observed Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) Chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh.

He suggested the formation of a committee comprising experts from public and private sector to revisit strategies and adopt methods that provide new impetus to SOEs.

He said that the committee shall scrutinize the broader political philosophy and vision under which SOEs will play their role in the new competitive environment,” they said.

He said during privatization process, the government should retain all the properties of PIA while the management be handed over to the strategic partners to improve the overall working of the airlines so that it could turn into a profitable institution. He asked all opposition parties to leave the politics of dual standards which was harming the country.

Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said the government can save billions annually by privatizing the loss making SOEs and should spend it on development projects in health, education and other sectors for the socio-economic prosperity of the country.

He said the whole process for privatizing the PIA should be totally according to law and all stakeholders be taken on board in this regard.