Action against ‘culprits’ of dubious licence scam soon, NA panel told

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Aviation was told that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had completed inquiry in the dubious licence pilot’s scam and action on it would be taken in the next few days.

The NA panel met under the chairmanship of Imtiaz Chaudhry on Wednesday.

Briefing the committee, Civil Aviation Authority DG maintained that people involved in the fake licence pilot scam would soon be taken to task.

He said the FIA had completed the inquiry would proceed against the ‘culprits’ in a week to 10 days.

On the issue of holding back of PIA plane in Malaysia, committee member Ayesha Ghous Pasha observed that the incident was the example of “worst performance”. Last week, a PIA aircraft was stopped in Malaysia.

The federal minister for aviation had said that the PIA had failed to pay lease on time due to the coronavirus pandemic and the Malaysian court issued an order without listening to the arguments of the national flag carrier.

The minister further noted the PIA officials would appear before a London court on January 22 and a Malaysian court on January 24 after which the national carrier would accept the decision of the courts.

Earlier, the PIA spokesperson had said that the plane had been held back by Malaysian authorities due to a British court case over the jet’s lease, adding that it would pursue the matter through diplomatic channels.

On the business plan of PIA, the NA committee was told that it was approved in 2019.

The committee was told that the loans on the national flag carrier were five times more than its profit. It was said that a period of 78 years was required to pay off the loans at 4.5% rate.

It was further said that the government had constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Dr Ishrat Hussain to pay off the loans.

On being asked, the PIA officials informed the NA body that the national carrier had last earned profit last in 2003 and after that the airline had been in loses.

(This story has been published from The Express Tribune feed, without modifications to the text)