AGP report unearths irregularities in PIA’s hotel transfer to Sindh govt

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KARACHI, OCT 6: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), which has been grappling with significant financial losses, reportedly handed over a hotel valued at over Rs 1 billion to the Sindh government for free.

Auditor General of Pakistan’s (AGP) report shed light on these irregularities. According to the report, it has been uncovered that the transfer of the Sambara Inn hotel to the Sindh government was executed outside the bounds of established rules and regulations. The hotel, with an estimated value of Rs1.15 billion, was relinquished by the airline’s works department.

The audit for 2021-22 by the Auditor General of Pakistan had highlighted that the hotel had been transferred to the Sindh government without any compensation. The department estimated the construction cost of the hotel at Rs60.75 million. In response, the management stated that they are pursuing the matter through the Aviation Division.

The auditor further said that after determining the responsibility, the report should be submitted in the audit after the inquiry. The aviation ministry should take up the matter in the Council of Common Interests (CCI).

The auditor went on to say that the appraiser approved by the State Bank had given the market value of the hotel at Rs1.15 in December 2020, whereas, the possession of the hotel was given to the provincial government against the interest of the airline on the verbal instructions of the senior officer to ignore the commercial interests of the airline. The auditors informed the management in 2022.

The management replied to the auditor saying that PIA is the legal owner of the property and has all the relevant property documents, adding that possible procedures should be made possible.