State property PPB will auction land in small plots

LAHORE, June 1: The Punjab Privatization Board (PPB) has decided in principle to sell a set of mega state-owned properties after getting these developed and converted into small plots through the departments concerned, it is learnt.

Officials told Dawn that the decision was taken by the PPB management after it received lukewarm response from the buyers.

Such mega properties worth billions are situated in Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Multan and some other cities of the province.

They said there were 20 (out of 76) properties which comprised huge chunk of land and required immediate development and conversion into small plots. They said the PPB management after carrying out development work wanted to sell these properties in competitive environment amid presence of maximum investors in the upcoming open auctions/biddings.

“As we are receiving a lukewarm response from the buyers/investors in this regard, we have sought help from the commissioners to engage the departments concerned such as district governments, Wasa, development authorities and town/tehsil municipal administrations etc to develop these properties on an immediate basis,” PPB Secretary Muhammad Aashiq told this correspondent.

He said though the PPB was trying hard to sell properties through giving advertisements in print media and holding open auctions/biddings in various cities, the deteriorating law and order situation and recession in real estate business had kept the potential investors away.

He said as the situation was better some time ago the PPB succeeded in selling about 320 properties worth Rs4 billion on its
own and through the DCOs in various districts of the province.

“We have yet to sell 1,273 (76 mega and 1,197 small) properties worth Rs32 billion. According to the procedure, the PPB management will sell 76 mega properties on its own and 1,197 small properties through respective district administrations,” he said.

He said according to rules the management was bound to sell properties on the prices assessed by the committees headed by the DCOs at district and PPB chairman at provincial levels.

Talking about the prime land measuring 1,000 kanal adjacent to Expo Centre in Johar Town, Mr Aashiq said actually the said property was owned by the Lahore Development Authority. “The government had asked the PPB management to sell it.

Though we arranged open auctions twice a few months back, no one showed interest in purchasing the huge chunk of land,” he said.

He said after receiving disappointing response the PPB management asked the government as well as the LDA to first develop and convert this land into small plots and then put it on sale in the open auction.

The LDA recently decided to first develop this and then sell it to various interested parties, he said.

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