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July 1, 2020

Cabinet committee takes up privatisation of Roosevelt Hotel

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July 1, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCOP) is 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 is scheduled to meet on Wednesday. However, when contacted, Privatisation Ministry/Commission Secretary Rizwan Malik told this correspondent 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 has been prepared by the Aviation Division. Adviser on Finance and Revenue Dr Hafeez Shaikh will chair the discussion, to be held in the prime minister’s office. The ministers for communications, law and justice, privatisation and power and advisers on commerce and investment and institutional reforms and austerity have been invited to attend the deliberations. Special invitation has been given to the minister for industries and production and the State Bank of Pakistan governor, among others.

Rizwan Malik said 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.