Finance and Trade Centre: LDA expects Rs2.5b from first auction

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LAHORE:  The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) will hold the first auction of properties at its Finance and Trade Centre (FTC) in Johar Town on September 10. LDA officials expect to generate around Rs2.5 billion from the first auction, and Rs12 billion overall.

Talking to The Express Tribune, an LDA official said that the decision to construct the centre was taken earlier this year after the chief minister directed the LDA to generate revenue for development projects in the city. “At this point, we cannot predict anything about the future of business or revenue from FTC as economic activities throughout the country are at a low.” The Punjab government had allocated Rs500 million in the 2011-2012 budget for the FTC.Meanwhile, work on the recently announced Central Business District (CBD), which includes markets in Gulberg and on Jail Road, has slowed down due to shortage of funds.

Businesses in the CDB are worried about the delay this may cause in infrastructure improvement for the CBD.

An LDA official, who wished not to be named, said that since LDA hoped to generate funds from the FTC and CBD required funds from the authority, the former needed to be constructed and sold first. Hence, the authority is focusing at developing FTC before providing the approved infrastructure facilities to the business community of CBD.

“No one knows whether or not the FTC would be a success, even whether or not the next government will continue the project,” he said. He said that LDA could have generated more than Rs22 billion if it had developed the FTC itself instead of a bidder.

Waseem Ahmad Khan, the LDA chief metropolitan planner, said that the FTC will boost economic activities in the city. He said auctions will be completed within a year and the construction of roads will start in a couple of months. The revenue from the auctions will be used to fund infrastructure development in the city.

Sheikh Saleem, the MM Alam Road Traders Association chairman, said that the LDA two years ago had promised the traders to provide infrastructure facilities in the CBD as its first priority.  He regretted that the authority had backed out on its commitment.

“The traders’ association met the LDA’s director general in 2009 and were assured of completion of pending projects including construction of a fly over parallel to the Jinnah Flyover, dual carriage of MM Alam Road and parking plazas. So far, they constructed only one parking plaza,” he said.

An LDA spokesman said that the CBD and the FTC were unrelated. A part of the funds generated from the auction of FTC would be used for the completion of promised projects in the CBD, he added.

Planning and allotment

On the centre’s 1,123 kanals of land, a superstore will be built on 90 kanals, a five-star hotel on 114 kanals, a bank square on 69 kanals, a health club on 27 kanals, a hospital on 25 kanals, a mosque on five kanals, recreation area on 75 kanals, a parking lot and a mini golf club on 32 kanals and a park with a lake on 42 kanals. Some 40 kanals have been reserved for multi-storey apartments, eight kanals for service area and 388 kanals for roads. The commercial area in the centre would be on 111 kanals and a corporate office and an LDA tower on 101 kanals.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2011

Source: http://tribune.com.pk/story/248278/finance-and-trade-centre-lda-expects-rs2-5b-from-first-auction/

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