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Basnet ‘to sell Vegas City’ to repay creditors


Beleaguered realty trader Sudhir Basnet has planned to sell his ambitious Vegas City housing project at Imadol, Lalitpur as creditors are beginning to close in on him.

Speaking at a meeting of people who paid deposits to book homes and apartments at Vegas City on Sunday, Basnet said that he was in talks with interested buyers, and that a deal would be finalised within a week.

Basnet’s company Kohinoor Hill Housing launched the Vegas City project in 2009. Kohinoor had promised to hand over the property in two to three years, but there was hardly any progress on the construction front. As per the plan, six blocks of apartments should have been erected, but not even two blocks have been completed so far. This led to nervous depositors demanding their money back.

The depositors had reached Basnet’s home on Sunday to discuss how he would return their money. They had also been to his house on Saturday, but only his parents were at home. A total of 268 people have booked apartments and another two dozen have booked individual homes at Vegas City. They have paid a total of Rs 830 million.

“Basnet told us that he would sell Vegas City within a week to another party that can develop the project,” said Mohan Bhattarai, one of the depositors. “If he fails to sell the property, he has promised to register it in our names.”

Bhattarai, who is the vice president of the Vegas Users Management Committee formed to protect the rights of the people who have booked apartments and homes, said that they were ready to take over the project if Basnet fails to sell the property and return their money. “Even through the price of the property may be less than what we have invested in it, we have to take it instead of the continued stalemate,” he added.

Although Basnet has not stopped making assurances that he will develop the project, the depositors are not convinced as he has been blacklisted by the Credit Information Bureau (CIB) for defaulting loans and has been disqualified to receive further credit. Last week, Basnet had told the depositors of Oriental Cooperative that he was preparing to sell Vegas City and Imperial Apartments at Naxal, Kathmandu. As Oriental Cooperative which he has promoted is also struggling to pay back its depositors, he has been promising them that he would return their money by selling the apartment projects. His Oriental Savings and Credit Cooperative owes Rs 3.89 billion to over 7,000 depositors. According to realty traders, Basnet’s woes began with a slowdown in the realty business that started three years ago after Nepal Rastra Bank capped realty lending. He had launched a series of projects when the sector was booming.

Posted on: 2012-12-11 08:36