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Pakistani Lawmakers Reject Privatization Bill For National Airline

A file photo of the lower house of Pakistani parliament.

Pakistan's upper chamber of parliament has rejected legislation aimed at privatizing the loss-generating Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

The move means another delay for a privatization program that is a requirement under the terms of an IMF bailout deal for Islamabad.

Loss-making state companies in Pakistan drain more than $5 billion from the state budget every year, an amount equal to about 12 percent of the government's annual revenues.

A plan to privatize 68 state-owned companies, including PIA, is a part of Islamabad's 2013 bailout agreement with the International Monetary Fund.

The privatizations are meant to put Islamabad's finances in a healthier condition.

Based on reporting by Retuers and Dawn