PESHAWAR: The Ministry of Privatisation has auctioned the Lalazar Batundi Rest House in Mansehra District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) for Rs72 million.
The 6 kanal 8 marla rest house was owned by the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) but it had not been properly utilised for the promotion of tourism.
The auction process was completed in a local hotel in Abbottabad yesterday. Six private companies had registered for the auction process. The land auction was started at Rs21.76 million and Hashim Swati of Swat Tourism Development Project made a successful bid. Ministry of Privatisation Auction Committee Director-General Iftikhar Hussain Naqvi, Transaction ManagerSuleiman Amin, Member Auction Committee Zahir Sadiq and Assistant Additional Commissioner Aminul Hassan were present during the bidding.
DG Naqvi said that after a gap of seven years, the process of auctioning additional assets has been started in the country. He added that under the policy that is being followed, 1,268 acres land of steel mill in Karachi will be given on lease as well.
He further said that companies from Korea, Russia, Turkey and China have expressed keen interest in acquiring the steel mill. The officers said that due to continuous losses from steel mills, its employees had been receiving their salaries at home but now the government has decided to terminate the steel mill staff.
Similarly, a preliminary report is being prepared for the privatisation of Heavy Electrical Complex in Hazara Division. Iftikhar said that the auction is being held as per the 2019 decision of the federal cabinet, wherein the purpose had been to dispose of the assets of the institutions which are not being properly utilised.
The government is already facing financial crises and the money from the auctions is being deposited in the public treasury. 90 per cent of the auction money from privateered properties will be used to repay the country’s external debts and 10 per cent would be allocated poverty alleviation programme.
The Ministry of Privatisation has auctioned 22 assets in the first phase on the endeavour, the funds of which are deposited in Account One of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
The director-general further stated that additional lands and flats which are not being used by the departments are being auctioned out on personal interest of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Government properties in all small and big cities of the country, including Islamabad, Lahore, and Faisalabad, are being auctioned under the supervision of the Ministry of Privatisation. Additional lands of government departments have been auctioned in Gujranwala, Multan, Vehari and Rahimyar Khan and the 41 kanal 12 marla area on Lahore Mall Road is also being auctioned at a value of Rs5.2 billion.
Hashim Swati of Swat Tourism Company made a successful bid on the occasion and said that the purpose of participating in the auction was to strengthen the government and to use the land for the promotion of tourism by providing facilities that met international standards.
He further stated that building a proper hotel will also provide employment opportunities to local people.