Govt decides not to sell PIA’s Roosevelt hotel
The Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCoP) shelved its plan to lease out the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA)-owned Roosevelt Hotel, Manhattan, New York.
The meeting said the property would be managed through private partnership and be developed into an office space. The costs of development can rise as high as $1 billion
The meeting to discuss the plan was led by the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.
The “cabinet committee reviewed one point agenda on the privatisation of Roosevelt Hotel, Manhattan , New York asset owned by PIA-Investment Limited,” said the press release issued by the Finance Division.
“As requested by the Aviation Division, the committee decided to de-notify the Roosevelt Task Force formed earlier under the chairmanship of minister for privatization for framing terms of reference for leasing the Roosevelt’s site for setting up a joint venture project.”
Moreover, the CCoP also directed the Privatization Committee to hire a financial adviser to start the process for the transaction in the light of the report of Ms Deloitte from July 2019 which recommended “that the highest and best use of the Roosevelt Hotel Property is to redevelop the site into a mixed use (through Joint Venture) of primarily office tower over retail and condominium” .
“It was also directed that Ms Deloitte would update its study on the Hotel transaction in the next four weeks and the same shall be shared with the CCoP,” the press release added.
Last year, the government had formed a taskforce to chalk out the details on leasing out the Roosevelt Hotel. The taskforce, later in December, 2019 completed the terms of references to be forwarded to the cabinet for final approval.
Subsequently, Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan had informed the National Assembly that the government is planning to lease out the Roosevelt Hotel for a long-term basis.
The decision was vehemently criticised by the opposition parties and was also deemed illegal by some legal minds.
However, the plan has now been shelved.