ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet has grilled Privatisation Commission (PC) for according approval of single bid for Service International Hotel (SIH) by violating Cabinet decision with respect to height, well informed sources told Business Recorder.
On September 21, 2021, during discussion, Prime Minister Imran Khan noted that the Chairman, Senate Standing Committee on Privatization had written a letter expressing reservations of the Committee on the reserved sale price and participation of single bidder. Privatization Division stated that the expression of interest for open auction was duly advertised and only two bids were received, out of which, only one was above the reference price. The party, whose bid was below the reference price, declined to further increase the bid.
The members enquired about the reasons for low bids as compared to the recently auctioned plots in the Central Business District.
It was noted that the main reason was the building height restriction of 245 feet by PCAA in that area. It was pointed out that the height restriction was revised to 500 feet in light of the Cabinet's decision. Privatization Division, however, it was maintained that the height restriction was 245 feet. Minister for Finance and Revenue suggested that the ratification of CCoP decision in the instant case may be deferred to allow the CCoP to reconfirm the factual position.
The members also expressed concern whether the spirit of Cabinet's decisions, to ease the building height restrictions to give a fillip to the construction industry, had been violated.
It was suggested that Secretary, Aviation Division, should present a report on the building height restrictions approved by the Cabinet in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Multan vis-à-vis the ones actually notified by the PCAA, in the next meeting.
The Cabinet Secretary, Sardar Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera suggested that there was a need to check if the policies approved by the Cabinet were being, subsequently, implemented in toto by the concerned ministries. He further suggested to have the Secretary, Aviation Division, examine the matter in the context of the Aviation Policy approved earlier by the Cabinet and to submit a report to the Cabinet on any violations of the approved Aviation Policy.
After detailed discussion, the Federal Cabinet directed the Secretary, Aviation Division, to present a report on the building height restrictions approved by the Cabinet in Islamabad, Karachi , Lahore, Peshawar and Multan vis- à-vis the ones actually notified by the PCAA, in the next meeting.
The Cabinet directed Secretary, Aviation Division, to examine the Aviation Policy, approved earlier by the Cabinet, and submit a factual report to the Cabinet on its implementation status, highlighting any deviations, if made, and the reasons thereof.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021