ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid on Wednesday told the National Assembly that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) had suffered losses of Rs 4.31 billion during the 15-day strike.
Responding to a motion submitted by the Opposition regarding implementation on the Pakistan Essential Services (Maintenance) Act, 1952 in the national flag career, he said the PIA had been converted into a Public Limited Company and it would maintain its responsibility of the national flag career.
The Minister said according to statutory guarantee, no employee of the PIA would be laid off and the employees would continue their service with the same enumerations and privileges.
He said the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Chairman Privatization Commission had given assurances that under the law, there was no privatization of PIA and it was just converted into a public limited company, but despite all these assurances strike was started which was illegal.
He said the aims and objectives of converting PIA into a public limited company were to modernize the airlines, upgrade its operational and financial performance, adding that benefits of the company were a lot as there would be accountability.
He dispelled the opposition’s impression that the PIA bill was bulldozed by the government in National Assembly, adding that details discussions were held on it in various meetings of the Senate and National Assembly Standing Committees where the Opposition members also gave their point of views and also wrote their dissenting note in the bill.
Zahid Hamid said that 3656 appointments were made in the PIA during 2008 to 2012 while contrary to it the present government just appointed 693 people in the national flag career.
Strike of the Joint Action Committee, he said was illegal under Section 43 of Industrial Regulation Ordinance.
He said that since 1992 the Pakistan Essential Services (Maintenance) Act 1952 had been evoked in PIA for 12 times.
The Minister expressed grief and sorrow over the death of two senior employees of PIA during the strike and said that the Prime Minister had announced Rs 2.5 million compensation for each family of the deceased while Rs .5 million was announced for the injured.
He said the perpetrators of the incident would be brought to justice.