NAB chief orders probe into closure of Roosevelt Hotel

By: News Desk      Published: 03:17 PM, 13 Oct, 2020
NAB chief orders probe into closure of Roosevelt Hotel

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal on Tuesday took notice of the closure of the PIA-owned Roosevelt Hotel located in Manhattan, New York City and ordered a probe into the matter, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

The NAB chairman also ordered NAB DG Rawalpindi Irfan Mangi to determine why Roosevelt Hotel could not be run as a profitable entity. The anti-corruption body chief also directed the DG NAB to probe what were the reasons that Roosevelt is going to close its doors permanently.

“This should be probed why the Pakistan government had to bear the loss of millions of dollars,” the TV channel reported.

Javed Iqbal directed Irfan Mangi to investigate and identify those who did not perform their national duties to make the Roosevelt Hotel a profitable entity despite being located at the prime location in New York City.

The Roosevelt Hotel in New York on October 9 announced it is going to close its doors permanently after suffering financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hotel announced that it was regretfully closing its doors permanently from October 31, 2020 due to the current economic impact, after 100 years of welcoming guests to the “Grand Dame of New York”.  The hotel lauded the staff and guests who remained part of their nine-decade-old journey.

It further announced arranging alternative accommodations for the guests who already have made a reservation in the hotel.

The Roosevelt Hotel, established in 1924, is among the historic hotels in the United States and is situated in the luxurious downtown area of Manhattan. US President Donald Trump had also made an offer to buy the hotel’s building.

The PIA acquired the hotel on lease in 1969 and in 2005 acquired its ownership rights. Currently, the hotel is worth over US$1 billion. It is pertinent to mention here that on September 02, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) approved US$142 million funds for paying off debt on Roosevelt Hotel.

The approval to allocate the funds for Roosevelt Hotel was given in the meeting chaired by Adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafiz Shaikh.

The amount of $142 million was approved for the monetary needs and maintenance of the hotel owned by the PIA in Manhattan, US, in order to take care of the loans, interests incurred and other payables of the hotel, read the statement of the meeting last month.