In a scandalous deal, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) have awarded a contract of Rs700 million for the up-gradation of In Flight Entertainment (IFE) in eight Boeing 777 aircraft to a local company which was registered only two months before the tender was floated.
According to a report by The News, a retired Pakistan Air Force officer, Group Captain (R) Khawaja Moizuddin, is the owner of that company, M/s Avionic Solutions Private Limited. It was incorporated with a capital share of Rs100,000. He is said to be a close friend of PIA CEO, Air Marshal Arshad Malik. The PIA spokesman termed the allegation “highly unfair and absurd.” Malik is presently under suspension on the order of the Sindh High Court after a petitioner challenged his appointment.
By the time of participation, it had not filed a single tax return, annual report and there was no auditor to look after its accounts. The PIA’s spokesman initially said that Avionic Solutions was not a newly formed company and later said Terms of Reference designed for the purpose didn’t specify how much experience the company should have. When asked that TORs might have been tailor-made to oblige a particular bidder, he said PIA wanted “indigenous solutions” of IFE and there is no local company having relevant experience. He said the service provider will be paid only after its products are certified to be fit for the purpose.