Islamabad - The Capital Development Authority (CDA) approved building plan of the five-star hotel, “Grand Hyatt Islamabad”, consisting of 47 floors, including roof top with height of 710 feet, without consulting and obtaining NOC from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and Pakistan Air Force (PAF), said a report prepared by the Auditor General of Pakistan.

As per approved bye-laws, height of Grand Hyatt Hotel was fixed as 65 feet (6-storey) with reference to the floor level of the existing building of Convention Centre. Later on, the 47-storey height was allowed without the approval of the cabinet. “CDA on the request of the purchaser revised the payment schedule of the Grand Hyatt Hotel through post-bid change in the contract and extended a favour to the allottee,” said the report.

The commercial plot was auctioned for construction of the five-star hotel (Grand Hyatt) at lesser value as compared to sale of similar commercial plot (Centaurus), resulting into a loss of Rs7,492.78 million. Joint Venture/Group was changed after declaration of the bid for sale of plot of Grand Hyatt Hotel, rendering the process of pre-qualification non-transparent. Furthermore, mandatory bank guarantee was not obtained for 85 per cent balance payment of Rs4,009.99 million of the hotel, the report added.

Irregularities in the construction of Grand Hyat Hotel were actually identified by the auditors during annual audit of CDA. The PAC in its meeting held on October 14, 2016 directed the audit authorities to take action against the officers/officials concerned and provide the relevant documents of within a week. In pursuance of audit findings and PAC directives, the CDA Board in its meeting held on July 29, 2016 cancelled the lease agreement/allotment of M/s BNP. Commenting on the matter, the spokesperson said that several relaxations were extended to the allottee in contradiction of rules and regulations which facilitated the developer and caused loss to CDA.

A spokesperson of Auditor General of Pakistan office in a statement issued on Monday said that the Auditor General of Pakistan has granted Special Honorarium equal to two months pay for the staff of Audit, Works (Federal), Islamabad on identifying irregularities in the construction of Grand Hyatt Hotel in Islamabad.

The spokesperson further said that the Auditor General of Pakistan, Rana Assad Amin, has started a system of rewards and punishment in the department under Strategic Reforms Plan (2015-19) and under this initiative AGP has dismissed 3 officers of B-17 and B-19 who were found guilty of corruption and misconduct during the last six months, to eliminate corruption and indiscipline from the department. 

 

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 21-Mar-2017 here.