ECC approves timely settlement of Roosevelt Hotel’s $105m loan


ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Wednesday approved the payment of all outstanding dues resulting from a debt of $105 million secured by Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan, New York.

“ECC of the Cabinet has given principled go-ahead to the payment of all liabilities and responsibilities resulting from a debt of $105 million secured by the Pakistan International Airlines Corporation Limited (PIACL) owned Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan, New York,” the finance ministry said in a statement.

The ECC meeting, chaired by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, also directed the Finance Division to engage with the law division, aviation division, and Planning Commission to formalise the mode of payment/refinancing “as per the schedule of the loan contracted by the hotel to meet its financial challenges and submit it to the ECC in its next meeting for formal approval”.

The ECC also approved the Cabinet Division’s proposal to reallocate through a technical supplementary grant lapsed funds of Rs8.01 billion which were allocated for sustainable development goals achievement programme (SAP). These were proposed to be reallocated to respective ministries and divisions.

Furthermore, it approved amendments to the Import Policy Order 2016 to streamline international trade of live animals and their meat products under the international rules and practices.

The committee approved the Finance Division’s proposal to allow the Asian Development Bank to launch Offshore Pakistan Rupee (PKR)-Linked Bonds based on conducive market conditions.

A revision in key terms of Prime Minister’s Kamyab Jawan Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme to make it accessible to all Pakistani citizens meeting the criteria was also given the nod.

The ECC also green-lit a proposal by the Ministry of Inter-provincial Coordination to grant an exemption to travel and tourism-related businesses in the annual fees for the renewal of operating licences.

The financial impact of the one-year fee exemption is estimated at Rs17 million.

The committee also took up the restructuring of financing facilities and deferment in re-payment of principal loan amount by one year upon a written request of the borrowers received before June 30 to mitigate the effects of COVID-19. The same facility was extended to borrowers under Prime Minister’s Youth Business Loan Scheme (PMYBL) and Prime Minister’s Kamyab Jawan Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme upon written requests received before September 30, provided the borrowers would continue to service the mark-up amount.

Approval was also given for additional funds of $3 million to be contributed to the SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund.

The ECC further approved a supplementary grant of Rs540 billion that was unutilised due to procedural conditions under the COVID-19 relief measures announced in FY2020-21.

The committee also approved the Revenue Division’s proposal for the arrangement of Rs40 billion for the payment of income tax refunds of up to Rs50 million pending since 2013. 

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