In an important development, it emerged on Sunday that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had suffered a loss of Rs 3.194 billion in March on account of aeronautical charges after suspension of international flight operations amid coronavirus outbreak.
This was revealed in an email sent to the joint secretary and director of air transport by the PIA additional director billing. The CAA had already extended its ban on all flight operations beside barring chartered and private planes amid coronavirus pandemic.
The CAA notified the extension for the closure of all kind of flight operations including domestic and international, following the orders of the federal government.
A few days ago, GVS learnt that passenger car sales witnessed another bad month as sales plunged by 71.8% to 5,796 units in March 2020, as compared to the same period last year, amid the coronavirus lockdown in the country.
Social scientists believe that the country is likely to face social chaos as a result of the economic crisis. “People are running short of food now. There is no work for daily wagers. There is nothing to earn,” said G-M Pitafi, professor of Politics and International Relations at UMT, Lahore. He also feared that street crimes may increase for people won’t have food and they will break both social norms and legal rules to fulfil their basic needs.
The Pakistan International Airline (PIA) on Sunday also decided to send employees on paid leaves on a rotation basis in order to curtail unnecessary costs due to non-utilization of manpower.
In a notification issued in this regard, the management of the national flag carrier asked the department chiefs to prepare paid leaves rosters of employees by April 14 as the first cycle of paid leaves would start from April 16.
“As you are well aware, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had a drastic effect on our airlines’ operations in general and flight operations specifically have been reduced to minimal/zero. Unfortunately, no one can predict for how long this situation will persist,” it stated.
“In order to curtail unnecessary cost due to non-utilization of manpower and to curb the associated overhead cost, it has been decided that employees in all areas may be sent on paid leaves on a rotation basis for 10 days so that the entire staff of the department without any exception avails the paid leaves each month (one-third staff for 10 days, then another one third and so on),” it added.
However, it further stated, these paid leaves rotation should be planned in a way that minimum staff requirement is maintained to avoid hampering the operation, keeping in view the nature of the duty. “In case of any exception the due nature of job/operational requirements, the same may also be conveyed to concern officials,” the instruction concluded.
Pakistan’s economy may not be able to function smoothly in the coming days, warn experts. Prime Minister Imran Khan has also asked the international community to help out the developing countries to deal with the crisis posed by COVID-19. It is yet to be seen that what would be done by the international community to let the developing world survive in difficult times.