State governments may get the first offer to buyout India Tourism Development Corporation’s (ITDC) Ashoka hotels in a sell-off plan that the government is finalising.
A few state governments have shown interest in such an offer, a government official told HT, requesting anonymity.
ITDC, a central government-owned company, said it would sell stake in Hotel Janpath in Delhi, Hotel Patliputra Ashok in Bihar, Hotel Bharatpur Ashok in Rajashthan, Kosi Tourism Lodge in Uttar Pradesh, Hotel Donyi Polo Ashok in Arunachal Pradesh and Hotel Pondicherry Ashok in Pondicherry.
The plan to sell stake in these hotels is part of the government’s strategy to exit the hotel business. ITDC made a profit of Rs 1.66 crore in the quarter-ended December 31, 2015 from Rs 1 crore in the previous quarter.
Hotel Janpath and Hotel Patliputra Ashok are ITDC properties, while Hotel Bharatpur Ashok and the property at Kosi are owned by the tourism ministry and managed by ITDC.
Hotel Donyi Polo Ashok and Hotel Pondicherry Ashok are joint ventures with state government corporations.
ITDC runs 16 hotels in the country, including three in Delhi and one each in Jammu, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Puri, Patna, Bhopal, Bharatpur, Kosi, Jaipur, Guwahati, Pondicherry, Mysore and Itanagar.
During the National Democratic Alliance’s first stint between 1999 and 2004, the then Atal Bihari Vajpayee-government sold stake in 18 ITDC hotels that are now owned by private companies.
ITDC also runs 11 transport units, nine duty-free shops at airports and seaports
“We have no problem to sell our stake to the state governments as long as we get our dues once they acquire the centre’s stakes in these hotels,” the official cited earlier said.
“In instances where the respective state governments are not interested to buy out the stake from the centre, a third party buyer will have to be brought in and for this the centre and the states will have to work closely,” the official added.