ISLAMABAD - United States President Donald Trump has expressed interest in acquiring the Pakistan International Airlines’ Roosevelt Hotel in New York.

Top officials of PIA have made the revelation in the National Assembly Standing Committee on Privatization on Wednesday.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Syed Mustafa Mahmud, MNA, for a detailed briefing on the performance of Pakistan International Airline Corporation, overall performance of PIA (Investment Limited) and Roosevelt Hotel, New York, with regard to its privatization.

The PIA Investment Limited Managing Director Najeeb Sami informed the committee that Donald Trump is interested in acquiring Roosevelt Hotel in New York.  He informed that the hotel had faced a loss of $1.5 million last year, which was profitable in the past. He said it was not profitable for PIA to run the entire hotel and it should, therefore, be replaced with offices and hotels. "It has been decided to give Roosevelt Hotel on lease on a long-term basis," Sami told the committee.

Earlier, in this month, the cabinet committee on Privatization (CCoP) had decided to redevelop the site of Roosevelt Hotel (Manhattan, New York) into a mixed use (joint venture) of primary office tower over retail and condominium.

The officials informed the committee that a huge investment is required for the renovation of a three-star hotel in New York.  The government could make it profitable after its renovation.

Federal Minister for Privatization Mian Muhammad Soomro told the committee that the government is not privatizing the Roosevelt Hotel. He said that the government would run the hotel through a joint venture.

The Financial Adviser would brief the government on the matter of the hotel. He clarified that Donald Trump had not spoken with him regarding acquiring the hotel.

Committee member Khawaja Asif of PML-N said that the government should take parliament into confidence over the privatization matter. “We are not against privatization but we must wait for a better time to get a good price.The whole US market is of the view that when the work can be done from home then what the need to have an office is,” Asif added. “Don’t make a decision now and wait. Right now neither PIA would be sold out nor the hotel.”