Cabinet approval to be sought for monetization of Ashok Hotel operation and management in 2-3 weeks


NEW DELHI: The Tourism Ministry will seek cabinet approval for the monetization of the operation and management of the iconic Ashok Hotel in the capital over the next 2-3 weeks.
It has also been decided that the Samrat Hotel will not be part of any monetization plan due to its strategic location, sources said.
The issues were discussed as part of the two-day review of the asset monetization plan, undertaken by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Guba earlier this month. The asset monetization target for the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and the Ministry of Tourism for FY22 has been set at Rs 7,500 crore and both ministries are confident of achieving it.
The Center hopes to increase Rs 88,000 crore during the 2021-22 fiscal year. Along with the privatization of state-owned enterprises, the monetization of assets is a major focus of government policy to mobilize resources and assist in the ongoing economic recovery.
The Sports Ministry, which has a target of Rs 1,650 crore for this year, said the appointment of the transaction advisor for the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in the nation’s capital would be speeded up and the application process should begin by March. 2022. The Indira Gandhi Stadium, as well as two regional centers in Zirakpur and Bangalore have also been identified for the asset monetization plan.
Sources said government think tank Niti Aayog expressed concerns that the Indira Gandhi Stadium’s monetization potential may be limited due to its location near the Yamuna Riverbed and some historic monuments in the area. However, Sports Ministry officials said those concerns would be fully addressed during the transaction process.
Tourism ministry officials who proposed the proposal linked to ITDC’s properties in Puducherry and Bhubaneshwar were undergoing restructuring after consultations with investors earlier this year.
Several attempts have been made in the past to sell the ITDC-run Hotel Ashok, but plans have had to be scrapped due to a range of factors including labor issues, dues and fees. contracts that the iconic hotel in the heart of New Delhi’s diplomatic zone had signed. The divestment department of then-minister Arun Shourie in Atal Behari Vajpayee’s government had attempted to sell the property as part of its broader policy to step out of hotel management. But he had to give up the plans.
Niti Aayog had previously offered to offer the hotel, established in 1956, on a 60-year lease while the adjoining Samrat Hotel would be kept for security reasons as it overlooks the Prime Minister’s residence complex on Lok Kalyan Marg. .
The Center unveiled a plan to monetize assets of Rs 6 lakh crore over the next four years. Assets that have been identified include roads, power transmission and generation, gas pipelines, warehousing, railways, telecommunications, 25 airports, 31 projects in 9 major ports, coal and sea mines. minerals, sports stadiums, the redevelopment of settlements. Only brownfield assets will be considered and land has been left out.

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