Privatisation of PIA
PIA Act 1956- Rest in Peace
ISLAMABAD: The way the government is determined to privatize PIA is alarming. It has not only put in jeopardy the legal norms of society but has also threatened the Parliamentary traditions.
As per PIA Act 1956, PIA assets can not be sold out as the national carrier is being operated under the PIA Act of 1956 that states it cannot transfer its shares to any other party. The legal position is that an Act can only be amended through the Parliament and if the government was desired to bring some amendments in the PIA Act 1956 the only way out was to obtain nod of the Parliament. But to utter surprise the government opted the other way i.e. the Presidential Ordinance of the Constitution of Pakistan. The timing of this Ordinance is intriguing; the spirit of the article 89 speaks volumes of the fact that Presidential Ordinance is desired when National Assembly and Senate are not in session. In this case the session was in the offing and the Parliament could have easily been consulted.
It is also pertinent to mention here that a financial matter relating to all provinces is required under the law to be referred to the Council of Common Interest. In this case no such step has been taken so far. So the legal fraternity has stirred a crunch question: What is the utility of the Parliament if the legislation comes through Presidential Ordinance?