Cabinet committee decides against privatising PIA owned Roosevelt Hotel, to run it as a joint venture

The Cabinet Committee on Privatisation announced that will not be selling the Pakistan International Airlines-owned Roosevelt Hotel in New York but would run it under a joint venture with a third party.

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The decision was taken by the cabinet committee which met today (Thursday) under the chairmanship of Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.

Today’s meeting also denotified the task force formed for the sale of the hotel. It was also agreed that the hotel would be started from scratch with a private entity.

The committee also agreed to appoint a financial adviser to help the government move towards initiating the joint venture.

Today’s meeting was attended by ministers for communication, law and justice, privatisation and power and advisers on commerce and investment and institutional reforms and austerity.

A special invitation was also given to the minister for industries and production and the State Bank of Pakistan governor, among others.

On Wednesday it was reported the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCOP) was taking up the privatisation of Roosevelt Hotel, Manhattan, New York, which is owned by the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

As per a “secret, most urgent” notice dated June 19, issued by the Cabinet Division, a copy of which is available with The News, the CCOP was to take up the matter on Tuesday.

However, the Privatisation Ministry/Commission Secretary Rizwan Malik told The News that the meeting may be held on Wednesday or Thursday because of the session of the federal cabinet.

The summary for the privatisation of the Roosevelt Hotel was prepared by the Aviation Division.

Rizwan Malik at the time had also clarified that the Roosevelt Hotel was not being sold, as was generally understood from the term, privatisation. He said the basic objective was to involve investors so that the PIA gets handsome money to improve its conditions and the asset is utilised in a beneficial manner.

The secretary agreed that it was not a good time to seek investment in view of the COVID-19, which has affected the business across the globe. He said the process would take a long time as a lot of things were yet to be sorted out before the privatisation.

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