KARACHI - PIA management has decided to increase the salaries of its employees by 20pc effective from Jan 1, 2009. The Collective Bargaining Agent with 8,983 members has entered in an agreement with PIA on which their salaries will be raised up to 20 percent along with dues to be paid in three quarters. Similarly, PIA Senior Staff Association with 5,890 members and ATAP with 1,095 members have also come to an agreement with PIA for 20 percent pay raise effective from August 1, 2009 but with no backlog to be paid to them. Defence Minister and Chairman PIA, Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar stated this while addressing a Press conference along with Managing Director PIA, Captain Mohammad Aijaz Haroon at Jinnah International Airport on Monday. Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, who is also Chairman of PIA Board of Directors, said that except for 1200-1300 members including those belonging to PALPA,SEAP and FENA, who have not yet held talks with the PIA Management, all other employees will be benefit from the pay raise agreement. He hoped that PALPA, SEAP and FENA too would come to negotiation table and hold dialogues with the airline management to have their issues resolved. He pointed out that PALPA, SEAP and FENA of 1300 employees are yet to negotiate with the management. Whether these are pilots or engineers, it is better to hold negotiations, Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar pointed out and said that pay is being risen at a time when Pakistans economy as well as the financial position of PIA itself is before everyone. He said our effort is to make PIA a viable airline through various cost cutting measures, already devised and induct new aircraft so as to reduce the aircraft-employee ratio. He said the employees have been told to cooperate with the management and whatever savings would be achieved through cost cutting measures, a certain percentage of the same would also be shared with them on quarterly basis. He said results could be achieved if they would work in loss-affected areas and go along while considering the airline as being their own. This would bring improvement in the service and lead PIA to progress and make it enter the profit earning stage in coming days. He was confident that issues with PALPA, SEAP and FENA would be resolved in a couple of days and they would get the benefit by July 31. MD PIA Capt Aijaz Haroon said that talks were held on Friday sans PALPA, SEAP and FENA and the issues would have been resolved if they had also participated in the talks. He said that their go slow on safety ground which have affected the flights during the last 48 hours, would soon be over. Replying a question, Managing Director PIA, Captain Mohammad Aijaz Haroon said that PALPA is demanding 65 percent pay raise which is not possible while Engineers demand for pay raise is equal to 55 percent of pilots salaries. However, the management would hold negotiations with them and resolve the issue. We wish to resolve the issue as soon as possible so that passengers do not face inconvenience, Ahmed Mukhtar added. Answering a question, he said that there are 1,001 ways of cost cutting but there would be no cut in number of employees as PPP believes in providing livelihood and not to snatch it away. Replying a question about induction of new aircraft, Chairman said that induction of Boeing or Airbus is being studied and for funding support was expected from Government of Pakistan. Regarding reduction in fares, he said that if air fare would lower down world over, then PIA too would have no other option but to follow.