ISLAMABAD, Dec 31 (APP):Public Accounts Committee chaired by Shehbaz Sharif on Monday took a briefing from the Auditor General about the financial and legal issues in the case of Royal Palm Golf and Country Club.
An official of Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) gave a presentation to the committee on the case during meeting of the Public Accounts Committee here at Parliament House.
The official told the committee that in the year 2000, railways management had decided to commercialize Railway Golf Club, which was established in 1927.
Three bidders were shortlisted by an evaluation committee. M/s Maxcorp Consortium was allowed to participate in bidding after expiry of deadline for bids. Executive Committee of Railway Board approved the bid of M/s Maxcorp Cosortium on 20 April, 2001.
According to the original terms and conditions approved by the Executive Committee of Railway Board on April 20, 2001 the licensing fee was US $ 2.5 million (Rs 150 million), land usage charges Rs 21.6 million per annum with 15 percent increase every three years (Rs 52 per square yard per annum), combined royalty 10 percent of gross revenue, minimum guarantee Rs 1.8 million per annum.
Land of 103 acres of Golf Club was given for lease for a period of 33 years.
However on July 21, 2001 the terms and conditions were revised by the board. The land usage charges were decreased to Rs 4 per square yard per annum, food and beverages were excluded from 10 percent gross revenue – combined royalty with no minimum guarantee. The period of lease was increased from Rs 33 years to 49 years and the area of the golf club was increased to 140 acres.
The Golf Club was got vacated on June 24, 2016 and placed in possession of REDAMCO. According to AGPR the recoverable amount from M/s Royal Palm Authorities up to May 15 2015 was Rs 2162.481 million.
A Special Committee of National Assembly investigated the matter and it concluded that the contract for the club should be terminated with recovery of all dues and losses along with interest. It directed that legal proceedings should be initiated against the members of the Executive Committee of then Railway Board.
Issue of Royal Palm came to limelight after different audit paras were printed in Audit Report of 2006-07, 2008-09 and 2009-10.The entire issue of leasing of Railway Club was taken up by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2011.