Senate Committee on Railways calls reps on PR Golf, Country Club on LHC order

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ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Railways in its meeting decided to call representatives from NAB and the three members of the finance committee formed following the instructions of the Lahore High Court in its interim order relating to the issue of Pakistan Railways Golf and Country Club.

The meeting was held with Senator Sardar Fateh Mushammad Muhammad Hassani in the chair. Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique who was present in the meeting suggested for holding the meeting at Royal Palm Golf and Country Club whose legal control is with Pakistan Railways but the managerial control is with Maxcorp Consortium.

In the briefing about the issue, the committee was told that the manner in which the entire deal was concluded with Maxcorp raises serious concerns as Maxcorp Consortium did not take part in the bidding process in 2000 when advertised and had submitted its bid after the deadline.

It was also stated that the agreement negotiated with the consortium had some significant changes in the original terms and conditions and hence it became oblivion to the financial interests of Pakistan Railways while also failing the litmus test of transparency as Maxcorp was unduly favoured over other bidders.

The committee was told that several breaches were committed in the implementation agreement and Pakistan Railways issued several pre-termination notices to the consortium.

Pakistan Railways took a number of legal actions including instructions to IGPR to provide assistance to vacate the premises, formation of a committee for inventory and stock-taking to ensure no damage is done to property, letter was written to NAB to recover bank accounts of membership fees.

Meanwhile, Lahore High Court gave an interim order on the petition of the consortium and maintained the status quo for them until further hearings. A three member finance committee including a representative of PR, lessee and a third party auditor each for running the financial affairs. Details of other cases pertaining to the premises were also provided.

The committee also sought implementation status of committee & #39;s recommendations with regard to Railways land occupied by Shalimar Hospital in Lahore and Railways land given illegally to DHA Bahawalpur. Members were told by the minister that he had a meeting with Chief Minister Punjab two days ago and the matters will be resolved soon.

The committee directed Secretary colonies Punjab to write to Commissioner for identification and offer of equivalent suitable land to Pakistan Railways in lieu of Railway land measuring 18 acres under occupation of Shalimar Trust Hospital. The senior member Board of Revenue Punjab, who was not present in the meeting, was instructed to return the money received from DHA for the land and rectify the revenue record that the subject land is owned by Pakistan Railways.