Prime Minister Imran will visit Sialkot today; there he will inaugurate the AirSial Airline at the invitation of the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
AirSial will be the country’s third private airline. Other than this Pakistan International Airlines Airblue, Askari Aviation, Shaheen Airline, SereneAir also function in the country.
The prime minister is also expected to announce other development projects in the city. He will be meeting will political, social, and business community members of the city.
As per news reports he is expected to announce a Rs 17 billion package for the city.
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The inauguration ceremony of the new airline will be held at Sialkot International Airport. The Chairman Sialkot International Airport Limited (SIAL) Mian Naeem Javed said that the Sialkot exporters had established their own private airline using their own resources.
Recently, AirSial Limited had imported its first Airbus A320. The Airbus had arrived on the 29th of November and the company seeks to induct two more Airbus A320’s which are expected to arrive in a few more days.
The airline has leased these planes from AerCap, the largest aircraft leasing company in the world.
AirSial plans to commence its operations from Mid-December 2020 across 5 cities of Pakistan Karachi, Sialkot, Islamabad, Lahore & Peshawar. Three daily flights from Karachi to Lahore & Islamabad along with three weekly flights to Sialkot and four weekly flights to Peshawar are likely to be in the airline’s initial flight schedule.
Chief Minister of Punjab, Sardar Usman Buzdar will also accompany the Prime Minister.
17 billion in development projects
The Prime Minister’s special assistant on Youth Affairs Usman Dar, in a press conference, announced that the development projects the prime minister would inaugurate five projects for the people of Sialkot, construction of drinking water plants, sewerage system improvement, and traffic re-engineering, and clean drinking project.
He also said that under the Kamyab Jawan Programme Rs2 billion had so far been distributed among the youth.
Sialkot business community lauds governmental efforts
Earlier this week the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association proposed that the government should declare Sialkot a value-added city.
They explained that the city is already a hub of small and medium enterprises (SME) sector, contributing $2.5 billion foreign exchange by adding a multi-fold value addition in various exports that are produced in the city.
Sialkot is the only city in Asia where the business community has built its own airport and today the Prime Minister will inaugurate private airline-‘Airsial’, which will help increase export growth in the city.
The PRGMEA Central Chairman Sohail Sheikh and Chief Coordinator Ijaz Khokhar observed that Sialkot is the fourth largest value-added garment city in Pakistan. The prime minister is thus requested to also announce a ‘garment city’ for Sialkot in line with the garment cities of Karachi, Faisalabad, and Lahore.
“We appreciate the PM as well as Adviser to PM on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood for incorporating our several major demands in forthcoming textile policy and hope that rest of the proposals will also get their serious consideration before its final approval from the cabinet,” the central chairman said.
He said that all PRGMEA members welcome speedy disbursement of sales tax refunds under the faster plus system, DLTL refunds, customs rebate being deposited directly into the bank, cut in power tariff for SMEs, and reduction of interest rate to 7 percent, which would ultimately lead to an aggressive sale in future and hopefully gear up the export in 2021.
“We are thankful to the government for releasing Rs1.78 billion for the textile sector under drawback of local taxes and levy scheme (DLTL).
GVS News Desk