Pakistan to privatise Islamabad airport for 15 years? ‘Best bidder can…’ | World News - Hindustan Times
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Pakistan to privatise Islamabad airport for 15 years? ‘Best bidder can…’

Jul 22, 2023 08:53 AM IST

The move does not equate to privatisation, instead, “it aims to bring in proficient operators to enhance airport operations".

The Islamabad airport would be outsourced for 15 years to improve its ‘operational activities’, Pakistan minister for aviation Khawaja Saad Rafique said as per a report in Geo News as the country battles an economic crisis. Pakistan witnessed staggering inflation and depleting Forex reserves as it awaited a much-needed International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout.

Pakistan: Pakistan prime minister Shehbaz Sharif is seen.(Reuters)
Pakistan: Pakistan prime minister Shehbaz Sharif is seen.(Reuters)

What is the plan for Islamabad airport?

The move does not equate to privatisation, instead, “it aims to bring in proficient operators to enhance airport operations," the minister said asserting that open competitive bidding would be ensured, allowing the best bidder to be given the opportunity to operate the airport.

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The process will be profit-oriented with the aim to benefit the national exchequer, he said, informing that the International Finance Corporation will serve as the consultant and 12 to 13 companies have already shown interest in the bidding process, he added.

What will be excluded from the outsourcing process?

Runway and navigation operations would not be included in the outsourcing process, he continued.

Why is there a need for this move in Pakistan?

The International Monetary Fund approved a USD 3 billion bailout to support Pakistan to avoid a default on its debt repayments. Pakistan also received financial assistance from the UAE and Saudi Arabia totalling USD 1 billion and USD 2 billion, respectively.

But the country continued to face its worst economic crisis in decades as the IMF deal came after an eight-month delay amid an acute balance of payments crisis and falling foreign exchange reserves.Wh

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