Badals tweaked rules to set up luxury hotel, get tax wavier, says Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann - Hindustan Times
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Badals tweaked rules to set up luxury hotel, get tax wavier, says Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann

By, Chandigarh
Mar 01, 2024 07:46 AM IST

Addressing a press conference at his official residence here, Mann said the then SAD-BJP government introduced the ‘Eco-Tourism Policy’ in 2009, allegedly with the sole motive of making possible the construction of this resort.

Chief minister Bhagwant Mann on Thursday accused the Badal family, including Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Badal of tweaking rules during the Akali Dal-BJP alliance government to facilitate the construction of their company-owned luxury spa resort, Sukhvilas, in Pallanpur village of Mohali and allow tax waiver to the tune of 108 crore.

CM Bhagwant Mann showing documents to the media during a press conference in Chandigarh. (Sourced)
CM Bhagwant Mann showing documents to the media during a press conference in Chandigarh. (Sourced)

Addressing a press conference at his official residence here, Mann said the then SAD-BJP government introduced the ‘Eco-Tourism Policy’ in 2009, allegedly with the sole motive of making possible the construction of this resort.

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“There was a poultry farm on this land which was allowed to be converted into a resort and incentives were also given to waive off value added tax, state goods and services tax (SGST), electricity duty and luxury tax to the tune of 108 crore,” he said, promising suitable action into the alleged “irregularities and misuse of power” by the Badal family.

Pointing out that Sukhvilas was originally known as Metro Eco Green Resort village, the chief minister said the Badal family purchased 21 acres of land in the name of their two companies, which were later transferred to another subsidiary in which (SAD president) Sukhbir Badal had a majority stake with 1,83,225 shares with a face value of 100 each.

“Harsimrat Kaur Badal (Sukhbir’s wife and Bathinda MP) and a firm, Dabwali Transport Company, also have shareholdings in this company,” he claimed.

Mann said that in 2009, the then Punjab government headed by Parkash Singh Badal incentivised this resort by waiving 75% each of SGST and VAT to a maximum of 85 crore and 100% of electricity duty to the maximum eligible amount of 11.44 crore over a period of 10 years.

“Luxury tax and annual licence fees worth 11 crore have also been exempted, thereby incurring huge losses to the state exchequer. The tax waiver was granted for the period from May 11, 2015, to May 10, 2025,” he said.

Mann said that no other company except the one owned by the Badal family got the benefit of this policy, accusing them of using it for their “personal gains”.

The CM alleged that the road leading to Sukhvilas was specially constructed by GMADA from the taxpayer’s money and forest guidelines were also modified in favour of this resort.

He said a detailed enquiry is going on to check which laws were misused or tweaked to facilitate the construction of this resort.

“The entire amount of taxpayer’s money will be recovered,” he said.

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