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PTDC to lease out AJK, G-B properties

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ISLAMABAD:

The federal government has approved the leasing out of properties of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) which are located in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B).

Revenue proceeds from the property lease will be utilised to clear liabilities of PTDC and for the promotion of tourism in AJK, G-B and the entire Pakistan.

AJK and G-B governments have given their consent in this regard.

In a recent meeting, the cabinet was informed that it had been decided that the Cabinet Division should establish a mechanism in consultation with provinces/ regions for the handing over of PTDC assets along with related human resources and liabilities to the respective provinces and regions.

Keeping in view the corporate status of PTDC, the Cabinet Division proposed that the matter may be placed before the PTDC board of directors for finalising the requisite mechanism for the transfer of assets.

Later, the PTDC board finalised and approved the mechanism. It was decided that a summary would be sent to the cabinet for consideration after arriving at a consensus with the respective provinces.

Two meetings were held with the AJK and G-B governments on October 7, 2019 and February 13, 2020 under the chairmanship of special assistant to prime minister on overseas Pakistanis/ PTDC chairman and the federal minister for Kashmir affairs and G-B in relation to the PTDC properties.

The special status of AJK and G-B was also discussed. The two regions proposed that the properties located in their areas may not be transferred to them, instead they may be leased out by PTDC to the well-established hospitality chains for the long term in a transparent and competitive manner as per the rules in vogue.

Subsequently, the AJK government and the G-B government conveyed their consent for leasing out the PTDC properties through open and competitive bidding as per the agreed arrangements.

Considering the proposal of AJK and G-B governments, the PTDC board, in its 89th meeting held on July 2, 2020, resolved to keep its properties located in AJK and G-B and lease them out to reputable companies related to the hospitality sector on a long-term basis – a 20-year lease extendable for a similar term on satisfactory performance.

It was agreed that revenue proceeds from the leasing of properties should first be used for clearing liabilities related to these properties, human resources while 50% of net revenue/ profit would be transferred annually to the AJK and G-B governments, which would be utilised for the promotion of tourism in the two regions.

The remaining 50% of net proceeds of the lease would be retained and utilised by PTDC for the promotion of tourism across Pakistan.

PTDC engaged a consultancy firm (consortium) for carrying out a business advisory study of the properties and preparing lease documents.

According to the task, the consultant submitted a lease advertisement/ prequalification/ Request for Proposal (RFP) documents and a concession agreement.

The matter was placed before the PTDC board in its 93rd meeting held on August 23, 2021, where it approved the advertisement/ prequalification/ RFP documents and authorised the management to publish the advertisement for leasing out the PTDC properties in the print media/ Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) and PTDC websites for inviting Expressions of Interest from the interested firms.

However, the proposals of interested parties would be finalised after obtaining approval of the federal cabinet. The advertisement for the prequalification of companies was published in newspapers on September 12, 2021.

After detailed discussion, the cabinet approved the proposal of leasing out PTDC properties located in AJK and G-B to the private sector through open and competitive bidding.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2021.

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