CAA employees protest in opposition to outsourcing of important airports – Pakistan

RAWALPINDI / LAHORE: The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority workers staged a protest by putting on black armbands at quite a few airports on Wednesday towards the government’s choice to outsource the functions and land assets of a few sizeable airports.

Having said that, the protesters did not disrupt their operate for the duration of the protest. “We will have out a procession on Thursday from the government’s choice to outsource the operations,” explained one particular of the protesters in Islamabad.

The government has kicked off the outsourcing of functions and land assets at a few important airports to be operate by means of a general public-non-public partnership, a shift to generate overseas trade reserves.

The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) had also knowledgeable the Nationwide Assembly Standing Committee on Aviation that the government began a course of action to outsource the management and operations of the airports in Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore to create international exchange reserves for its faltering economic system.

Demonstrations carried out peacefully with strategies for further more processions, legal action

The committee, on the other hand, clarified that PCCA was not selling the airports they have been only handing in excess of the operation and management controls for a interval of time.

CAA workers on Wednesday staged protests at the airports of Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Sukkur, Gilgit, Multan, Rahim Yar Khan, and Skardu.

The protesters carried banners and placards, shouting slogans in opposition to outsourcing and demanding the withdrawal of the choice.

Just lately, Aviation Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique emphasised the importance of encouraging the private sector to have out business tasks though the govt focuses on regulatory tasks.

“The federal governing administration has made the decision to outsource three airports — Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad,” he claimed.

“Outsourcing does not suggest privatisation… These airports will be handed over to international operators for a selected period, a exercise adopted by other nations around the world worldwide. As soon as that period finishes, the airports will be returned to Pakistan with all the benefit addition performed by the firms.”

Mr Rafique experienced assured in the course of a press conference in Lahore that no CAA worker would reduce their position, but “adjustments” would be built without having affecting their salaries or benefits.

Demonstration in Lahore

At the Allama Iqbal Intercontinental Airport in Lahore, the CAA officials, on the simply call of the Akai and Jaca unions, staged a protest towards the PMLN-led federal coalition government’s conclusion of the outsourcing.

Speaking at the demonstration, Akai Union main Ayaz Butt said the employees would not permit the government execute its agenda of outsourcing. He mentioned that it was due to the employees’ difficult function that the CAA was earning a revenue, and they would not let the govt to outsource its (CAA’s) land really worth billions of rupees for its vested passions.

He urged the judiciary and the army main to intervene and halt this outsourcing of assets at the airports, as this agreement may well be harmful to the defence of the country.

The CAA staff members stated that the protests would keep on until the authorities withdrew its controversial selection.

Protest in Karachi

In Karachi, where by the CAA is headquartered, CAA personnel wore black armbands and installed banners inscribed with slogans versus proposed privatisation in the identify of outsourcing of Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore airports.

A CAA personnel informed Dawn that a vigorous marketing campaign would be released immediately after Ashura and three major demonstrations would be held, to start with in Islamabad on Aug 1, then in Lahore on Aug 8, and lastly in Karachi on Aug 17.

“We are arranging to shift courts in opposition to the proposed outsourcing,” mentioned the employee, who stated both officers and staff are united from the privatisation.

Printed in Dawn, July 20th, 2023