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Himachal

Posted at: Aug 25, 2019, 6:40 AM; last updated: Aug 25, 2019, 9:58 PM (IST)

HP offers 14 prime hotels, including at Chail, for lease

Pratibha Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 24

The Himachal Government has offered 14 of the 56 properties of the HP Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC), including Palace Hotel in Chail and Golf Glade at Naldehra, to private players on lease.

The offer has been made on the website for the Rising Himachal Global Investors Meet, scheduled to be held at Dharamsala on November 7-8. The move has raised many an eyebrow as some of the hotels at Chail, Naldehra and Manali happen to be the pride of HPTDC.

Although most of these properties are making losses, it is strongly felt that these must not be offered to private players as these have the potential to be developed into prime hotels.

Rather than offering the not-so-important units, prime properties with an immense scope for expansion are proposed to be leased out, raising questions on the disinvestment plans.

“The move of leasing out Palace Hotel, Chail, when the example of losing out the biggest money-spinner Hotel Wildflower Hall at Mashobra to the Oberoi group is right before us, is surprising,” a bureaucrat said.

There has been talk in the corridors of power that the conditions for leasing out HPTDC units have been tailor-made to suit some private players. “There is no final decision on leasing out these HPTDC properties although most of these have been in losses for many years,” said Ram Subhag Singh, Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism.

However, point number 17 in the brochure for the Global Investors Meet clearly mentions “disinvestment of HPTDC properties”.

The primary objective of the meet is to attract investment in eight focus sectors.

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