PIA and its crash com­pen­sa­tion

Pakistan Today (Karachi) - - COMMENT -

THIS is ref­er­ence to triv­ial com­pen­sa­tion an­nounced by PIA for next of kin who lost their lives while trav­el­ling from Gil­git to Is­lam­abad on 7 De­cem­ber. Th­ese were pas­sen­gers who paid to travel safely and their rev­enue funds salaries of Chair­man, Di­rec­tors, GMs, pi­lots, en­gi­neers etc of PIA. Sim­i­larly taxes levied on pas­sen­gers fund CAA which is re­quired to en­sure that air­lines reg­u­lated by it are air­wor­thy and meet safety stan­dards re­quired by ICAO.

Avi­a­tion safety and pub­lic in­ter­est is com­pro­mised just like the sup­ply of adul­ter­ated milk, work­ing of rail and road trans­porta­tion, pro­vi­sion of basic health and ev­ery other facet in­volv­ing pub­lic be­cause of cor­rup­tion in­fected bu­reau­cracy, nepo­tism and equally cor­rupt po­lit­i­cal elite with their greed mo­ti­vated con­flicts of in­ter­est. It is fail­ure of state to en­force strict reg­u­la­tory over­sight which has en­dan­gered pub­lic in­ter­est and basic fun­da­men­tal rights. The rise in air­line ac­ci­dents and bird hits at air­ports points to fail­ures of CAA and the state, more than air­line op­er­a­tors. All em­ploy­ees of PIA are there to serve rev­enue clients but it is shock­ing that com­pen­sa­tion an­nounced for next of kin who per­ished on board Pk 661 is even lesser than two months take home salary (in­clu­sive of al­lowances) of se­nior pi­lots work­ing on LPR in na­tional air­line. For an air­line sur­viv­ing on dole outs from fed­eral gov­ern­ment, aus­ter­ity mea­sures must be con­fined to ad­min­is­tra­tive costs, au­dited pro­cure­ment and leas­ing etc and cut­ting down top heavy man­age­ment dom­i­nated by medi­ocrity.

It is a con­tra­dic­tion that while FBR and Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment levies a re­duced tax rate through an SRO for cock­pit crew based on ar­gu­ment that their earn­ing pe­riod is re­stricted by med­i­cal fit­ness re­quire­ments, yet they are only cat­e­gory of em­ploy­ees re­hired on con­tract be­yond na­tional age of re­tire­ment which is 60 years. Is Flight Safety not be­ing com­pro­mised? The na­tional age of re­tire­ment in a coun­try is based on aver­age age of mor­tal­ity, qual­ity of med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties avail­able on 24/7 ba­sis, en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions, nu­tri­tion qual­ity and law and or­der pre­vail­ing.

It is time to re­store PIA’s cred­i­bil­ity to the level it en­joyed un­der Nur Khan by tak­ing con­crete steps to en­force ad­min­is­tra­tive dis­ci­ple, merit in re­cruit­ment and or­der­ing a com­plete foren­sic au­dit of all re­cruit­ments car­ried out dur­ing past three decades. MA­LIK TARIQ ALI

La­hore

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