Bahria raises offer to Rs485bn for settlement of cases

Published March 13, 2019
Of the Rs485 billion, Rs440bn will go to the Karachi project, Rs22bn will be earmarked for Rawalpindi project  and Rs23bn for the Murree project. — Photo courtesy of Bahira Town
Of the Rs485 billion, Rs440bn will go to the Karachi project, Rs22bn will be earmarked for Rawalpindi project and Rs23bn for the Murree project. — Photo courtesy of Bahira Town

ISLAMABAD: Just a day before a formal hearing, Bahria Town (Pvt) Ltd furnished before the Supreme Court a final proposal by raising its offer to a total of Rs485 billion as full and final settlement for all the three cases pertaining to its projects in Malir, Rawalpindi and Murree.

Of the Rs485 billion, Rs440bn will go to the 16,896-acre Malir project or Karachi Superhighway Project Land, whereas Rs22bn will be earmarked for 5,472 kanals at Takht Pari Rakh (Rawalpindi) and Rs23bn for the 4,542 kanals of Sulkhtar and Manga land (Murree).

Take a look: Bahria Town Karachi: Greed unlimited

At the previous hearing on March 6, a three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed had asked Barrister Syed Ali Zafar, representing the Bahria Town, to consider increasing their offer further when the developer had proposed Rs450 billion for all the three projects.

The bench on Wednesday (today) will take up the implementation of its May 4, 2018 judgement in which it was held that the grant of land to the Malir Development Authority by the Sindh government, its exchange with the land of Bahria Town and anything done under the provisions of Colonisation of Government Land Act 1912 (COGLA) by the Sindh government was illegal and of no legal existence.

Developer wants ownership of land it possesses as per proposal furnished before SC ahead of formal hearing

The land was granted for launching incremental housing scheme, but the MDA instead of launching the scheme exchanged it with Bahria Town facilitating it to launch a scheme of its own, the judgement had held.

In the fresh proposal, the developer explained that the total Rs485 billion will include fees, charges, duties, taxes on land price, regularisation fee for full and final settlement of all the three projects.

The offer also includes certain terms and conditions for payment related to the 16,896-acre Malir project. According to the proposal, the developer will make a down payment of Rs20 billion commencing six months from the finalisation of the proposal reminding that Rs10.75 billion has already been deposited with the apex court in addition to Rs4.7 billion to the Sindh government.

This Rs15.47 billion should be adjusted against Rs20 billion, the proposal stated, adding that six months period was necessary to reinstate the trust and confidence of the investors and reorganizing the inflow of the pending instalments from the allottees.

During the six months, 30 per cent of the sale proceeds collected or deposited in the Bahria Town accounts related to the project land will be deposited everyday by the developer in the accounts designated by the Supreme Court.

The proposal maintains that the remaining Rs420bn will be paid during the next eight years in monthly instalments, explaining that an average monthly instalment of Rs2 billion will be paid during the initial five years and average monthly instalment of Rs8.33 billion during the subsequent three years.

According to the proposal, the remaining 70pc of the sale proceeds collected/deposited in the Bahria Town accounts relating to the project land will be retained/ utilized by the developer for rapid and smooth completion/development/maintenance of the project, land, contractor and other expenses/liabilities payment etc.

The proposal suggests that the Bahria Town will also pay a markup at the rate of 3pc per annum commencing from the end of five years period on all amount outstanding at the end of the fifth year out of the total consideration of Rs440 billion relating to the Karachi project. The markup will be paid annually.

The developer or its sponsors would have the right to transfer any of the developed property/asset to the government in lieu of the payments outstanding or sell any property/asset else to pay the outstanding amounts, the proposal said.

Moreover, it added, the land in possession of Bahria Town would also stand transferred to it as an owner with immediate effect.

Similarly, all the ongoing enquiries, investigations by all agencies including the Federal Investigation Agency, NAB, Federal Board of Revenue, anti-corruption department will also be directed to be ceased and these agencies will be refrained from proceeding further in such investigations for all times to come.

The proposal stated that the Supreme Court would also pass an appropriate order that this arrangement would ensure that no loss, financial or otherwise, had been caused to the Sindh and the Punjab governments or any authority, departments of the federal as well as the provincial governments, it suggested. The same terms and conditions will also apply to the other two projects, the proposal added.

Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2019


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