Funds from Bahria Town not included in Sindh's budget for next year

Published June 16, 2021
Bahria Town Karachi’s imposing main gateway. ─ White Star/File
Bahria Town Karachi’s imposing main gateway. ─ White Star/File

KARACHI: Unlike the outgoing financial year’s budget, the Sindh government has not included a massive amount the real estate giant Bahria Town is said to have been depositing with the Supreme Court as part of a seven-year Rs460 billion deal pertaining to its housing project on Superhighway, Karachi, in the head of provincial non-tax receipts in its budget for fiscal year 2021-22.

The Supreme Court had on March 21, 2019, accepted Bahria Town’s offer to pay Rs460bn for the purchase of land measuring 16,896 acres in Malir, Karachi, and ordered the real estate firm to deposit the amount in an account with the apex court.

According to the deal, the apex court had asked the land developer to furnish a down payment of Rs25bn and then a monthly instalment of Rs2.5bn during the first four years of the seven-year period. The rest of the amount would be paid in equal instalments in three years.

While the Sindh government did not get a single penny and has excluded the one-year payment of Rs30bn from its non-tax receipts, it is not willing to lose its claim on the entire amount.

According to budget documents, Rs30bn receivable from Bahria Town was reflected in budget estimates 2020-21 in the light of SC order wherein “total receivable to Government of Sindh is Rs460 billion plus mark-up charges due”.

It said the amount is not reflected in the revised estimates 2020-21 and budget estimates 2021-22 because “recovery has not commenced”. The total receivable from Bahria Town by June 30, 2022 would be Rs110bn.

Published in Dawn, June 16th, 2021

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