ISLAMABAD - The Senate’s Standing Committee on Aviation Wednesday asked the authorities concerned to expeditiously implement its earlier recommendation regarding formation of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) on the alleged corruption of New Islamabad International Airport (NIIAP). 

The committee meeting, chaired by Senator Mushahidullah Khan, said the process be expedited and submitted to the prime minister and the Federal Cabinet so that an effective probe body could be formulated on the issue. Secretary Aviation Hassan Nasir Jamy briefed the lawmakers about ongoing inquiries, being conducted by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) teams, into different contract packages awarded during construction of the airport.

He said Rs 94 billion payments had been made by the Civil Aviation Authority to different companies as of June 30, 2020, out of which Rs 81.482 billion amount of ‘Different Work Packages’ was under the FIA and NAB arbitration.

The meeting also got an in-camera briefing on the report of the Women Protection Committee of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and listened to the officials concerned in a case pertaining to harassment at the workplace. Later, the PIA officials shared the details of national flag-carrier’s Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) and its projected financial implication. They said the PIA’s total manpower strength was around 14,500 [including outsourced] against the existing aircraft-fleet of 29, which cost Rs 2.06 billion per month. Making comparison with other airlines, the officials said the PIA had 500 employees at the ratio of per aircraft, while Qatar had 133, Emirates 231, Turkish 94 and Etihad 211. The Qatar Airways was operating with 240 aircraft and 32,000 employees, the Emirates Airlines with 269 airplanes and 62,356 employees, Turkish Airlines with 329 aircraft and 31,000 workforce and Etihad Airways with 102 airplanes.

In the PIA, the officials said, the eligibility criteria for early retirement were 20 years along with all applicable benefits.