KARACHI - The Karachi Development Authority (now the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation) and the State Bank of Pakistan have yet to resolve 21-year-old issue of lease of premises in the civic centre constructed in 1984, it emerges on Tuesday.

The State Bank got some premises in the civic centre on rental basis as well as purchased but property lease approval to the central bank by the KDA has yet to be done.

The State Bank of Pakistan approached the Sindh government, seeking its intervention to resolve the outstanding issue and undue protraction in execution of indenture of lease in respect of constructed premises in civic centre purchased by the SBP in 1984, the outstanding issue of lease of premises in the civic centre.

In this regard, Sindh Chief Secretary Raja Abbas chaired a meeting, which was attended by the representatives of the SBP and KMC legal and land section on Tuesday. 

The chief secretary after hearing viewpoint from both the sides formed a committee comprising of representatives from the SBP and KMC land and legal sections to resolve the issue.

Sources said that the State Bank while pleading its case said that soon after the completion of the Civic Centre Karachi, its various floors were offered to government institutions on rental as well as outright purchase basis. The SBP too was allocated space in the basement and ground floor on rental and 1st and 2nd floors on outright purchase basis in the rear right wing of the centre, representative of the central bank told the meeting.

“SBP took possession of the area measuring 6326 square foot each on 1st and 2nd floor in August 1985 after having made full payment of Rs5,060,800 (over Rs5 million) on March 13, 1984 as acknowledgment of receipt of this payment was made by the KDA vide their letter dated March 15, 1984 also available with it,” the SBP representative added.

He in its viewpoint recalled that the initial draft of lease agreement that was submitted by the KDA in August 1985 was thoroughly discussed between the teams of high level officials of both the parties-SBP and KDA in four separate meetings held during the period between August 1987 and November 1990.

Consequently, a final draft containing terms and conditions mutually and fully agreed between the two parties was sent to the KDA for approval on December 30, 1990 with hopes that the same would be sent back to the SBP for execution of the indenture of lease. Surprisingly, the agreement that was received them on December 12, 1991 was very different from the one that was mutually agreed upon between the two parties. Even though the anomaly was promptly notified to the officials of the KDA but the draft that took much effort of both the teams of KDA and SBP is yet to be traced, SBP representative noted.

“Since December 1991, the SBP has been vigorously pursuing the matter with KDA and with CDGK after the latter commenced but despite lapse of nearly 21 years, it is still pending with them for one reason or the other,” he claimed.

The SBP took the issue with the Public Accounts Committee of National Assembly, which in its meeting on August 7, 2012 had issued explicit directives to SBP to seek support of Sindh government/chief secretary to intervene and urge the CDGK to finalise this outstanding issue by executing the lease deal of premises/floors in the Civic Centre Karachi. Sindh chief secretary asked the committee to come up with an amicable solution.