The Board of the Privatization Commission convened on Friday to discuss the privatisation of the Pakistan International Airline (PIA), marking a significant step by the government towards its sale to the private sector.

The meeting, chaired by the caretaker minister for privatization, Fawad Hassan Fawad, lasted for an hour and focused on addressing the financial challenges faced by the loss-making entity, which has been incurring multi-billion rupees of losses annually.During the hour-long session, Board Chairman Fawad Hassan Fawad emphasized the paramount importance of conducting the transaction with the utmost transparency and sought the full cooperation of board members.An official speaking to The News stated, “This meeting served as an introduction, and no decisions were finalized. However, there is a firm commitment to expedite this transaction.” The single-point agenda of the meeting solely revolved around the PIA privatization, and no other transactions were on the agenda.Furthermore, the board explored the possibility of appointing a high-caliber Financial Advisor for the transaction. Once all necessary prerequisites are fulfilled, the proposal will proceed through the Board, the Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCoP), and ultimately to the Federal Cabinet for final approval. All board members were present at the meeting, with two joining remotely via Zoom.Apart from the board meeting, the official said that the minister is also taking briefings from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank regarding power distribution companies’ (DISCOs) proposed plan of transferring their management to the private sector under long-term concession agreements.Notably, the Privatization minister recently convened a meeting with Najy Benhassine, the Country Head of the World Bank, to discuss Pakistan’s privatization agenda. The discussion primarily focused on the privatization of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and various state-owned enterprises (SOEs), notably power companies. The Discos are making around $2.5 billion in losses annually

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