ISLAMABAD: BNP Group’s controversial One Constitution Avenue project is set to witness business operations on the partial payment of their outstanding dues PAC.
As the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has directed the owner to deposit the first instalment in accordance with the directives of the Supreme Court and the Public Account Committee (PAC) to restore the lease of the plot, the project is likely to be de-sealed.
According to last year’s decision by the Supreme Court, the developer was expected to pay the CDA Rs 17.5 billion in six instalments. Nevertheless, in the supreme court, both the developer and the CDA lodged appeal petitions against the decision.
Later, to fix the issue, the PAC directed the CDA and the developer.
As a result, the CDA recently released a letter to the developer telling him to deposit the first instalment to have the project de-sealed, out of a total of 17.5 billion.
We have written a letter to the developer to deposit the first instalment following the instructions of the Supreme Court and the PAC,’ said Naveed Illahi, CDA Member Properties.
CDA asks developer to deposit first installment of Rs17.5bn dues to get lease of plot restored
He said it is now up to the developer to deposit the money to recover the plot’s lease.
The PAC had ordered the developer to pay the outstanding amount in accordance with the Directive of the Supreme Court at a meeting held on Oct. 7 with Rana Tanveer Hussain in the chair. It also directed the CDA to fix the problem.
In 2016, because the developer had designed and sold residential units instead the CDA sealed and terminated the lease of the parcel intended for the Grand Hyatt Hotel.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) overturned the CDA ruling, however in January last year the Supreme Court reinstated the lease and asked the BNP Party to pay Rs17.5b over eight years to the CDA.
According to the minutes of the PAC meeting: “The PAC Chairman pointed out that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had clarified that the pending procedure before the NAB did not prevent the CDA from acting in accordance with the law.” In addition, no instruction had been given to the CDA by NAB to avoid its proceedings. As per the order of the Supreme Court, the CDA was free to proceed.
“The minutes added: “Therefore the Committee affirmed that the judgement of the Supreme Court should be followed by both the CDA and the developer and that they could conduct a letter of readjustment to give substance to the decision if subsequently reviewed by the Supreme Court.
“The developer, Hafeez Pasha, said when contacted: “The revival of the project will not only restore the investors’ confidence and interest in Pakistan, but will also generate a lot of economic activity. The symbol of the capital city is going to be here.
He said he would not stop paying the outstanding fee, but lodged a motion for review with the Supreme Court to decrease the plot price and/or provide more time for payment in instalments.
Finally, the CDA committed to a timeline for delivery of the amended amount of Rs17.5 billion to be paid over a six-year term. The PAC has already approved this schedule of payments. We will now make the first instalment payment as decided, though our motion for review in the Supreme Court is still pending. We will shortly be able to hand ownership of the serviced apartments back to the investors.
The developer claimed that the apartments would be maintained and run in compliance with the international requirements set out by the Association of Suppliers of Serviced Apartments, adding that there would be no opposition to the CDA as it relied on the association’s concept of serviced apartments.