LAHORE - In a desperate move, the federal government Saturday imposed Essential Services Act on the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) pilots. After the imposition of the act, the government has withheld the right of forming an association for collective bargaining from the pilots. The measure is a result of the ongoing tussle between Pakistan Airline Pilots Association (Palpa) and the PIA management over the working agreement, which had led to go-slow policy by the pilots. The go-slow policy caused delay and cancellation of flights, incurring huge financial loss to the national flag carrier, which already going through a severe financial crunch. The constitutional experts are of the view that the act can only be imposed during a military regime and not by a democratic set up. On the other hand, the Palpa office-bearers have decided to move to the court to get relief. Monitoring Desk adds: According to MD PIA Ijaz Haroon, pilots would be bound to present on duty as per schedule and any violation would be considered as a crime. They are liable to fine up to one million rupees or jailed for one year in case of any violation. On the other hand, Palpa President Captain Suhail Baloch said he would not compromise the safety of passengers. The PIA administration and the PALPA office-bearers had reached an agreement to resolve all outstanding issues some weeks ago in the presence of senior officials from the Ministry of Defence. However, the accord did not last long, as both sides started levelling allegations against the each other. The pilots are of the view that apart from lesser pay and other benefits, they are forced to fly extra hours against the internationally accepted standards.