According to the NA, the historic Roosevelt Hotel has caught the eyes of the United States President Donald Trump.
Pakistan International Airlines leased the nineteenth-story building through its investment arm, Pakistan Investments Ltd in 1979. The luxury building is located in the Manhattan borough of New York.
Roosevelt- A Charm!
The building has been profitable for ninety-nine-years. Khawaja Asif of the PML-N asked the PIA officials if anyone has shown interest in buying the property.
In a recent briefing to the National Assembly Committee, PIA officials talked about the growing interest of the US in the hotel. PIA Investment Limited Management Director Najeeb Sami revealed that Trump has eyes on the hotel.
“It has been decided to give Roosevelt Hotel on lease on a long-term basis,” Sami told the lawmakers.
The hotel has been generating profits for over a century now. Although, last year was ‘bad’ for the business as the hotel faced a loss of $1.5 million. It was also stated that PIA was not in a condition to run it so it should be replaced with offices and hotels.
Billionaire – Trump
According to The Washington Post, Trump already owns seven luxury hotels and several resorts and clubs, across the US.
The Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCoP) has decided to run Roosevelt as a joint venture.
CCoP directed the Privatization Commission to appoint a Financial Adviser. To process the transactions, taking into consideration the accounting firm Deloitte.
The recommendation that followed was,
“the highest and best use of the Roosevelt Hotel property is to redevelop the site into a mixed-use [property] (through joint venture) of primarily an office tower over retail and condominium.”
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PML-N Should have Privatized PIA
Asif concerning the PML-N said that his party was never against privatization. COVID-19 has led to unlimited changes in the world. Despite the intensity of the situation, he said that privatizing Roosevelt isn’t profitable. Asif further highlighted that the pandemic has led to a fall in prices. Therefore, privatizing any entity at this very instant is not sensible.
He insisted that the people who are working in the hotel should be taken into consideration before privatization takes place. Asif demanded that the rights of the employees should be protected in any such case.
He then referred to the employees and said that their food security must be prioritized. He urged that they must be provided with enough funds.
Talking on the matter, he further stated that PIA cannot privatize at this very moment. He admitted that PML-N made a ‘mistake’ by not privatizing the airline under its tenure.
The Privatisation Minister, Muhammad Mian Soomro informed that important measures are being taken. He said that the financial adviser will take the decision. Considering various options, can the fate of the luxury hotel be decided.
The Hotel has been significant to Pakistan over the past years. It carries cultural significance for Pakistan. It is a valuable property, with around 1025 rooms and facilities.
The subject of the news since last seven years
The hotel has been on the news for the last seven years. However, PIA had always turned down all the claims for auction. The national airline had purchased the hotel for $36.5 million against $59.5 million. It was not until 1999, that PIA purchased the property.