ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government is all set to get the ‘controversial’ PIA bill passed by the Joint Sitting of the Parliament today.

The president has summoned the joint session of parliament at 5pm today (Monday) in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 54 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973.

Through Pakistan International Airlines Corporation (Conversion) Bill 2016 the government seeks setting up the PIA Corporation into a public limited company.

This bill was passed by the National Assembly but rejected by Senate. So, as per Article 70 of the Constitution, the matter has been referred to the Joint Sitting of the Parliament to decide on it.

Parliamentary sources informed The Nation that before the joint session at 5pm, the ruling PML-N leaders led by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar would be holding a meeting with the opposition parties’ leaders to brief them on the restructuring plan of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

They will also try to reassure the opposition leaders that the government has no intention to privatise the national flag carrier, and all what they wanted is to revamp the airlines by engaging a strategic partner by selling 26 percent of its shares.

PML-N sources informed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wanted to take all the opposition parties on board in the PIA restructuring plan and would fully address their concerns, besides giving them assurance that the airline would not be sold out.

Later both the ruling coalition and opposition parties would held separate meetings to finalise their strategy for the Joint Sitting of the Parliament where total seven bills would be on the agenda list – two from the government, three from the opposition and one from a ruling party senator.

All these bills were passed by either of the two houses of the Parliament and rejected or could not be taken up by the other within stipulated 90 days period required for their presentation and passage.

The sources in the ruling party informed that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was already in contact with Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah and the government was confident to have the PIA bill passed with little or no hindrance.

These sources further said that in case the opposition parties wanted to have some changes in the bill, the matter could be deferred, but the chances of arising such a situation are bleak.

The Minister in Charge of Cabinet Secretariat will move the PIA bill. Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbassi will move The Gas (Theft Control and Recovery) Bill, 2014 to provide for prosecution of cases of gas theft and other offences relating to gas and to provide a procedure for recovery of amounts due. Ruling PML-N Senator Ghous Muhammad Khan Niazi will present the bill to further amend the Emigration Ordinance, 1979 [The Emigration (Amendment) Bill, 2014].

Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Saeed Ghani will move the bill to amend the Civil Servants Act, 1973 [The Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill, 2014]. PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar will move three bills seeking amendments in the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860, the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 and the Qanun-e-Shahadat Order, 1984. All these bills were passed by the Senate and not passed by the National Assembly within 90 days.