One Constitution Avenue project builder's offer against dues rejected.

ISLAMABAD -- After rejecting a new offer of getting a piece of land in lieu of pending instalments, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has asked the private BNP Group to deposit the due instalment of 2022 amounting to Rs2.9 billion.

The CDA director estate on Dec 30 issued a letter to the company, which has been executing the One Constitution Avenue project along Murree Road near Islamabad Club, to deposit the amount.

Since the auction of the plot in 2005, the project has been facing controversies. The CDA had auctioned the 13.5 acres for Rs4.8 billion, but without getting the full amount, the same year it handed over possession of the plot to the company after receiving only Rs800 million. By 2016-17, only Rs1.02 billion of the remaining amount was paid.

The controversial project remained under investigation by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

In 2017, the CDA cancelled the lease of the plot and the building was sealed as the plot was meant for construction of a hotel but the developer had built and sold residential apartments instead.

CDA directs BNP Group to deposit pending installment amounting to Rs2.9bn

But the project was desealed in 2021 after almost five years following a judgement by a three-member Supreme Court (SC) bench headed by then chief justice Saqib Nisar.

In line with the 2019 verdict, the developer was supposed to deposit Rs17.5 billion in instalments in eight years.

The company deposited the first instalment of Rs1.7 billion and last year offered the CDA a piece of developed commercial land in lieu of the dues.

However, the CDA has rejected the offer and asked the developer to deposit the due payment.

'You are advised to remit instalment due for the year 2022 amounting to Rs2.9 billion as well as to submit renewed and enhanced bank guarantee amounting Rs2.9 billion on or before Dec 31, 2022, (as decided by Supreme Court of Pakistan vide order dated 09-01-2022 and endorsed by Public Account Committee,' read the CDA letter.

On Dec 23, the CDA issued a letter to the developer stating: 'It is intimated that this office [CDA] is in receipt of letter from M/s Askari Bank Limited dated 14-12-2022 where they have informed that since the bank has already paid two pay orders amounting to Rs1.289 million and Rs400 million (total Rs1,689 million) to CDA thus the bank has discharged its obligation and stands absolved. The bank has also requested to return/release the bank guarantee...

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