Saudi donation to support coronavirus fight at Karachi hospitals 

Saudi Consul General Bandar Fahad Al-Dayel and SABIC Pakistan general manager Saleh Ali Al-Zahrani present a cheque to Dr. Abdul Bari, CEO of the Indus Hospital, in Karachi on June 30, 2020. (Photo courtesy: Saudi Consulate in Karachi)
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Updated 01 July 2020

Saudi donation to support coronavirus fight at Karachi hospitals 

  • Donation is part of SABIC Pakistan’s corporate responsibility program
  • The two Karachi hospitals are on the forefront of Pakistan’s COVID-19 response


ISLAMABAD: Saudi Aramco subsidiary SABIC Pakistan on Tuesday donated over Rs8 million for the coronavirus fight of two hospitals in Karachi.

Saudi Consul General Bandar Fahad Al-Dayel and SABIC general manager Saleh Ali Al-Zahrani presented Rs4.2 million ($25,000) cheques to Dr. Abdul Bari, CEO of the Indus Hospital, and Dr. Adeeb-ul-Hasan Rizvi, head of the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT).

The two Karachi hospitals are on the forefront of Pakistan’s COVID-19 response.




Saudi Consul General Bandar Fahad Al-Dayel and SABIC Pakistan general manager Saleh Ali Al-Zahrani present a cheque to to Dr. Adeeb-ul-Hasan Rizvi, head of the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT), in Karachi on June 30, 2020. (Photo courtesy: Saudi Consulate in Karachi)

The donation is part of SABIC’s corporate social responsibility program, the Saudi consulate in Karachi said in a statement.

SABIC (Saudi Basic Industries Corporation) is a multinational chemical manufacturing company, a subsidiary of the kingdom’s state-run oil company Saudi Aramco.

Last week, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in a phone conversation with his Saudi counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, detailed the challenges Pakistan is facing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Wednesday, 213,470 known COVID-19 cases were recorded in Pakistan, with over 4,133 new infections reported in the past 24 hours, Health Ministry data showed.

At least 4,395 Pakistanis have died from the virus and 2,700 are in critical condition. Over 100,800 are known to have recovered from the disease.


Pakistan International Airlines to retire 3,000 staff in cost cuts 

Updated 25 November 2020

Pakistan International Airlines to retire 3,000 staff in cost cuts 

  • The national flag carrier has incurred billions of rupees of losses in the past several years
  • With around $4 billion in accumulated losses, PIA currently runs a fleet of 30 aircraft operated by 14,000 employees

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is planning lay off 3,000 employees through a voluntary retirement scheme this year to reduce its annual losses by Rs4.5 billion ($28.26 million), a top official said on Wednesday.

The Pakistani government on Tuesday approved the national flag carrier's voluntary separation scheme (VSS) to remove the employees from service. PIA management is now seeking about Rs12.7 billion from the government to compensate them.

"This will result in 4.5 billion rupees savings per annum," Abdullah Hafeez Khan, PIA’s general manager for corporate communications, told Arab News.

"This means we will be paying back to the government in two and half or three years," he said, adding that between 2,500 and 3,000 employees will be laid off through the scheme.  

“Hopefully, we should start the process by early next month,” he said. "The biggest advantage (of the scheme) is that this will help us cut annual expenditure, save resources, improve the airline’s culture and productivity."

Explaining the VSS process, Kahn said that all employees will be given 14 days to accept the retirement offer.

“If employees don’t want to avail it, they are more than welcome to stay.”

The most highly skilled workers will be interviewed if they choose to accept the scheme, Khan said.
“We will ensure the process doesn’t lead to a brain drain.”

The loss-ridden national flag carrier has been struggling to stay afloat after a significant cut in the number of its domestic and international flights following the coronavirus outbreak. With around $4 billion accumulated losses, PIA is currently operating a fleet of only 30 aircraft that are maintained and operated by some 14,000 staff.

In recent years, the government has tried several measures to cut down PIA’s annual losses and approved bailout packages to keep it financially afloat.

PIA is a state-run entity that has incurred billions of rupees of losses for the last several years. Laying off extra employees was always on cards, though no previous administration could implement the plan due to political pressure and backlash from employee unions.