ECP Directs Government to Halt PIA Sales

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), which blocked the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) reorganization a few days ago, has now asked the caretaker government to desist from privatizing Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

Less than a week before the general election, the ECP directed in a letter to the cabinet secretary that the caretaker government not sign any agreements or take any other action until the Commission makes a decision in accordance with Section 230 of the Constitution.

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The Privatization Commission Ordinance, 2000, Clause 5(b), and Section 230 of the Constitution compel the government to submit all pertinent documents produced for Cabinet approval, including a thorough privatization scheme of PIA. The ECP asked the government to disclose these materials.

The ECP advised Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar last week not to make any significant changes to the FBR and to hold off on making any changes until the next government, which will be elected in 2024, has had a chance to review them.

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“The Election Commission of Pakistan is required to emphasize the role and actions not to be carried out by the caretaker Government in terms of Section 230 of the Act ibid,” the letter dated January 30th stated. The Election Commission of Pakistan is responsible for conducting elections under Article 218 (3) of the Constitution.

It made it clear that an elected administration had the authority to make important policy decisions, such as the proposed revamp of FBR.

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