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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Will PIA fire employees who submitted fake degrees?

Will PIA fire 446 employees who submitted fake or tampered-with degrees and educational certificates to the national carrier at the time of their induction since this is likely to create a disaster-like situation for the airline itself? What should PIA do now?

In a latest development, 466 employees of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) have been found guilty of submitting fake and tampered-with degrees and educational certificates to the national carrier in the last five years.

The Ministry of Aviation has given a detailed list of employees to the Senate Secretariat along with information about the action taken against the fake degree holders.

The ministry told the Senate that PIA was devising a policy for early verification of credentials during the probationary period of employees, and that they would only be confirmed after verification of their educational documents.

The ministry added that any person found with a fake degree would not be able to escape from their liability as the submission of fake degree was an offence under the law.

Read more: PIA getting new Inflight Entertainment System for Boeing 777 planes

According to the PIA management, measures in this regard have been carried out strictly in accordance with the law and judgments of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Previously, there was no policy regarding verification of educational documents within 90 days from the date of initial appointment at PIA.

It is worth noting that the Senate Standing Committee on Aviation, Tuesday 13th February, 2019 lambasted the manner of dismissal of 80 employees, including seven pilots and 73 cabin crew, of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) for possessing fake degrees, saying that the dismissals did not follow the procedural codes. The committee meeting was headed by Senator Mushahidullah Khan for a briefing on the issue of fake degrees of PIA employees.

People like Mushahidullah demanding to let pilots with fake degrees fly the planes is the reason of decades’ downfall [of Pakistan]

The committee chairman harshly criticized the dismissal of employees, saying that the Supreme Court order was not followed in letter and spirit. Senator Mushahid urged the PIA management to take disciplinary actions against the people who inducted employees without verifying their documents before firing staff with fake degrees.

“Terminating the service of the staff is a drastic action. Nowhere does the Supreme Court order dismiss staff with fake degrees. The court’s directives are to follow the procedure under the rules,” said Mushahidullah Khan of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). He argued that instead of terminating the service of staff possessing fake degrees, other disciplinary action should have been taken, such as demotion or stopping increments.

Read more: PIA is showing signs of improvement and looks towards future

Responding to Mushahidullah’s recent demur on PIA’s fake degrees issue, then information minister, Fawad Chaudhary took it to twitter and said, “People like Mushahidullah demanding to let pilots with fake degrees fly the planes is the reason of decades’ downfall [of Pakistan].”

As a matter of fact, PIA suffered a loss of staggering PKR 392 Billion from 2008 to 2018, with PKR 162 Billion in the last three years alone. The owners aka the people of Pakistan and their representatives were unison in their voice to privatize PIA, however with the legacy debt of over 460 billion and no plan to control further escalation, we were a bone that they simply could not swallow. An analysts adds that “the love was over, the purpose was already fulfilled. It is worth mentioning here that the seriousness was such that PIA had no business plan, nor were the books audited for last three years, a cardinal sin for a listed company”.

However, things have taken a turn for the best for PIA in the last year. CEO Air Marshal Arshad Malik claimed that the national airline has recorded 41% increase in revenues, 5 points increase in seat factor, over 90% reliability of schedule and is expanding its destinations. PIA has thus significantly improved all indices of performance and is now all set to take a more aggressive course towards a brighter future.