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PIA accounts frozen after non-payment of taxes

Last week, PIA reached a point where it needed money from the national fund to operate for even one day (Image courtesy: Twitter/@Official_PIA)

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), the country’s main airline is once again in hot waters as the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) froze its account on the basis of non-payment of more than Rs 2 billion in taxes, according to ARY News.

In January last year, the FBR had frozen 53 bank accounts of the PIA after it was found to be a tax defaulter of Rs 26 billion. However, those bank accounts were restored after PIA assured them of early clearance of the taxes.

According to sources, PIA owed about Rs 2.8 billion to the FBR in taxes. However, the airline claims its dues amount to around Rs 1.3 bn, reported Dawn.

Moreover, Pakistan State Oil (PSO) also denied providing fuel for three PIA aircraft which interrupted the scheduled flights including PK-309 Islamabad-Karachi, PK-330 Karachi-Multan and PK-739 Multan-Jeddah, reported ARY News.

The spokesperson of PIA said that they are contacting FBR on the government level for the restoration of the accounts, ARY News reported.

He further said that the bank account closure will not affect the PIA’s flight operations.

However last week, according to The News International, PIA reached a point where it needed money from the national fund to operate for even one day. The government was thinking of bringing in specialists to draw a time-bound restructuring plan through shadow management in light of the total accumulated losses, which have exceeded PKR 600 billion.

Additionally, the officials wondered how long a PIA that is operating at a loss would continue to operate and added that first and foremost, leaks needed to be sealed, a reorganisation plan needed to be created with deadlines, and the major functions needed to be gradually privatised.

Earlier, the board of directors of the country’s main airline PIA failed to make a decision on employees’ pay raise due to financial hardships, according to ARY News.

Moreover, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) team will arrive in Pakistan for a physical audit in September. (ANI)