Delay is due to pendency of policy decision, says Ministry

More than Rs.500 crore in ground rent and other dues are outstanding against eight hotels in the Capital, according to Public Accounts Committee report that was tabled in Parliament on Friday.

The outstanding ground rent dues of hotels are as follows: Bharat Hotel (Rs.304 crore), Samrat Hotel (Rs.97.94 crore), Le-Meridien Hotel (Rs.60.90 crore), Taj Man Singh Hotel (Rs.29.57 crore), Claridges Hotel (Rs.12.88 crore), The Ashok (Rs.5.96 crore), Taj Palace Hotel (Rs.3.07 crore) and Janpath Hotel (Rs.1.95 crore).

When the PAC sought to know the reasons for delay in recovery of dues, the Union Urban Development Ministry said the delay in cases of hotels that have come up on the New Delhi Municipal Council and the Delhi Development Authority land was due to pendency of a policy decision required on the issues of payment of interest and charges for misuse and damages.

So far as recovery of ground rent was concerned, the Ministry stated that up-to-date ground rent has been received in respect of all the hotels with the NDMC and the DDA. However, the dues on ground rent had subsequently been revised and the same had been conveyed to the agencies. The Ministry further said that Claridges Hotel had challenged the demand of the revised ground rent in the Delhi High Court and the matter was sub-judice.

In the case of Hotel Samrat and Hotel Janpath, sanctioned building plans had been called for to carry out inspection.

On the accumulation of huge outstanding dues on the parts of the hotels and measures taken to sort out the differences to realise the amount, the Ministry said: “The major component of the outstanding dues are interest and misuse charges. Since the basic issue of misuse itself is under dispute and that is precisely being relooked into, it may not be realistic to set any definite time frame.”

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