PIA’s accord with Sabre: probe ordered
Secretary Aviation Muhammad Ali Gardezi has ordered an inquiry into an agreement of Pakistan International Airlines with a world’s leading airline solutions provider Sabre as it has been found against the interest of PIA. PIA’s five-year agreement with Sabre expired in 2010 but it was renewed by the management of the airline for another seven years. According to the details, the master agreement was signed between PIA and Sabre in October 2000 and renewed in 2005, while the agreement period was for five years starting from October 11, 2005. As per the agreement, per passenger cost was $0.42 for solutions, including SabreSonic Reservation, ACSI, StadyState and SmartFlow Revenue Integrity systems. The passenger volume was assumed at five million passengers per year with the increase rate of 3.5 percent per year whereas the same should have been on actual number of passengers. ‘In the last year of the agreement (from October 2009 to October 2010), the impact in terms of amount was calculated at $3.673 million for the assumed passenger volume of 5.737 million. The malafide intention could be gauged from the fact that in the first year of the extended agreement (2010-11) this impact calculation reached to $8.1 million with even lower assumed passenger volume of 5.4 million. It is beyond comprehension why there is this much increase in passengers’ volume when it is quite clear that PIA is fast losing its share both in international and domestic sphere due to inefficiency, flight delays, shortage of fleet, maintenance issues etc.
Pakistan slips to 133 on competitiveness ranking
At a time when the new government is striving to re-strengthen institutions, Pakistan has slipped down to 133 on competitiveness ranking among 148 countries reflecting weaknesses in its institutions and capacity of the economy to create space for innovation. The competitiveness ranking is part of the Global Competitiveness Report 2013-14, which was released here on Wednesday by Mishal Pakistan, a local partner institute of the World Economic Forum. Pakistan was ranked at 124 in 2012-13 and 118 in 2011-12. The gradual slipping of Pakistan’s rank shows the areas of public and private partnerships for cooperation for improving competitiveness are also diminishing as well. This indicates increasing mistrust between the public and the private sector due to increase in corruption and policy instability issues. The report for the year 2013-14 also includes views of more than 14,000 business leaders globally to measure competitiveness of 148 countries. More than 200 business leaders in Pakistan identified corruption as the most problematic factor for doing business, followed by policy instability, access to financing, inadequate supply of infrastructure, inefficient government bureaucracy and high inflation.
52,000 tons of urea to reach Gwadar port tomorrow
The first shipment of 52,000 tons of urea, imported by the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), will reach Gwadar port on Friday. In July this year, the Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet had directed the TCP to import urea on an urgent basis aimed at ensuring sufficient urea supply during upcoming crop season. As per schedule given by the supplier, the first ship namely "MV Global Brave" carrying about 52,000 tons of urea will reach Gwadar port on Friday evening. The ship has already sailed from China for Pakistan. Another shipment is scheduled to arrive on September 12, 2013 from China. Besides import of urea from international market, the TCP is also importing the commodity from Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) against $100 million credit grant of Saudi Fund for Development. Under the credit facility so far some 164,000 tons of urea has reached Pakistan, while remaining some 40,000 will arrive till December 2013.