Is PTI government selling the iconic PIA Roosevelt Hotel in US?

Is PTI government selling the iconic PIA Roosevelt Hotel in US?

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Aviation Division Ghulam Sarwar Khan Tuesday apprised the Senate that Roosevelt Hotel was not being sold, however, it was being leased out for setting up a joint venture project.

The Cabinet Committee on Privatization in its meeting held on November 15, 2019 considered the proposal submitted by the Ministry of Privatization regarding leasing out the Roosevelt site, he added.

Replying to a question during the Question Hour, the minister said the same was under process in the Ministry of Privatization.

He said the government had decided to shut down operation of the Roosevelt Hotel, New York, as it was closed on December 18, 2020.

The reasons for the closures of the hotel were included imposing restriction on travel to and from the United States of America by President Trump March 12, 2020, closure of all schools, restaurants, bars and theaters and 90 percent reduction of Roosevelt’s occupancy.

He said Roosevelt’s cash flows resultantly reduced drastically and the PIA-IL funded the cash shortfall from its resources.

Continuing partial hotel operation in the wake of cancellation of UNGA, fashion show, NY Marathon, US Open etcetera became unsustainable, as hotel’s revised forecast projected additional substantial cash short falls, he said.

He said the PIA-IL had advanced approximately $17 million till to date in order to protect the asset and to meet mandatory payments.

Roosevelt did not qualify for any bailout packages offered by the US government as ultimate beneficial owner being a sovereign state, he said.