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ISLAMABAD: Secretary, Ministry of Finance (MoF), Kamran Ali Afzal, is said to have underscored the need for consulting National Accountability Bureau (NAB) before ‘making any further payment ($ 7.754 million)’ to PIA to meet financial requirements of Roosevelt Hotel Corporation, New York, well-informed sources in Finance Ministry told Business Recorder.

This is the second case of halting payment due to NAB initiating an investigation as Finance Division and Power Division have already failed to meet commitment of Rs 85 billion to IPPs established under the pre-1994 Power Generation Policy and 1994 Power Generation Policy.

Sources said Aviation Division proposed constitution of a high-powered committee headed by Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission including Secretary Finance, Aviation and Law & Justice Divisions to deliberate on the additional funding of $ 35.577 million to Roosevelt Hotel Corporation, New York, the US, to overcome financial challenges with viable options.

ECC of the Cabinet considered Aviation Division's proposal in its meeting held on January 20, 2021 and approved the proposal which was ratified by the Federal Cabinet in its meeting held on January 26, 2021.

Pursuant to the ECC decision of January 20, 2021, Aviation Division notified constitution of the committee on February 3, 2021 with its Terms of Reference (ToRs) .

The first meeting of the committee headed by Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission was held on February 9, 2021 to discuss financial challenges of Roosevelt Hotel. RHC's management made a comprehensive presentation on the additional funding requirement of the hotel.

After a detailed discussion, the committee formed a sub-committee comprising Sr. Joint Secretary (CF) Finance Division (Chairman), Joint Secretary, Aviation Division, representative of Law and Justice Division, and MD, PIA-IL to deliberate on the urgent requirement of funding of $ 7.754 million.

The sub-committee submitted its report to the high-powered committee in its meeting held on March 4, 2021.

After thorough deliberations on the report of the sub-committee, the committee finalized its report in its meeting held on March 4, 2021. However, Secretary Finance while signing the report added: "since the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has initiated an enquiry into this matter, I am of the view that the Bureau must be consulted prior to making any further payment.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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