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Privatization Commission Auctions | Lahore Services Hotel For Rs1.951bn

ISLAMABAD: The Privatisation Commission on Thursday auctioned the Services International Hotel in Lahore at the highest bid of Rs1.951 billion against the reserved price of Rs1.949bn with the small difference between the two prices raising some eyebrows.

Only two bidders participated in the auction and a renowned real estate developer of Lahore, Faisal Town Pvt Ltd, emerged successful, according to an official announcement.

Federal Minister for Privatisation Mohammadmian Soomro, who chaired the process, termed the auction success of the Privatisation Commission and said the government believed in merit and transparency in the auction of state-owned properties. He said that the auction had fetched more than the base price, adding that the main purpose of the auction was to reduce the burden of debt retirement on the country.

Sources in the Privatisation Commission explained that the reserved price was fixed following market valuation as the Services International Hotel was not functional.

A successful bid for property spread over 15 kanals is Rs2m above-reserved price

On the other hand, the meager difference between the final bidding price and the reserved price has raised eyebrows of independent observers in view of the prime location of the property, which is spread over 15 kanals on Upper Mall and surrounded by some of the prime traffic arteries of Lahore. The property is easily accessible from multiple routes.

Commercial status has been approved for the property by the Lahore Development Authority allowing construction for all asset classes on the land.

As per the rule, the successful bidder will now have to pay 30 percent of the accepted bid price within 20 working days of the issuance of the letter of acceptance. The remaining 70 percent of the accepted bid price will have to be paid within 60 working days of issuance of the letter of acceptance.

The privatization minister said on the directive of Prime Minister Imran Khan the auction process of state-owned properties was being carried out in a transparent manner in the country.

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