Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Monday denied that the government planned to sell any state-run hotel, two days after a website suggested that it aimed to shed ownership of 14 properties.
The list of these hotels run by the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) was quickly pulled off the site set up for the upcoming Rising Himachal Global Investors' Meet. But by then the state government had started drawing flak from the opposition over its alleged attempt to privatise HPTDC hotels.
The question of leasing out or selling any HPTDC property does not arise, Thakur said when reporters questioned him about the list. Neither the state cabinet, nor the revenue or tourism departments have taken any decision to lease out or sell any property. No property can be leased out or sold without taking a proper decision in this regard, he added.
The website had suggested that 14 of the 56 HPTDC properties, including Palace Hotel in Chail and Golf Glade at Naldehra, are available for the private sector on lease. The state government had prepared a list of HPTDC units running in loss for their proper management and this list was wrongly uploaded on the website, Thakur told reporters outside the state assembly. He said the list was removed from the portal on Sunday and a report sought on the episode.
The chief minister said action will be taken against the official found responsible for uploading the list on the website. He claimed the opposition Congress was trying to make a big issue out of nothing. The state government created the website for the meet scheduled later this year in Dharamsala to attract investment.