No rules tweaked for Badals’ luxury resort Sukhvilas, says SAD - Hindustan Times
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No rules tweaked for Badals’ luxury resort Sukhvilas, says SAD

By, Chandigarh
Mar 02, 2024 09:02 AM IST

On Thursday, Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann had 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, in Pallanpur village of Mohali and allow tax waiver to the tune of ₹108 crore

Reacting sharply to Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann’s allegations regarding Sukhvilas resort, owned by the Badal family, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) general secretary Parambans Singh Romana on Friday said the CM will have to face a defamation suit in case he didn’t apologise.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) general secretary Parambans Singh Romana addressing a press conference on Friday.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) general secretary Parambans Singh Romana addressing a press conference on Friday.

On Thursday, the CM had 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, in Pallanpur village of Mohali and allow tax waiver to the tune of 108 crore.

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Mann had alleged that 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.

Refuting Punjab CM’s allegations, Romana said: “Bhagwant Mann’s claims that a tailor-made policy was made to extend tax incentives to Sukhvilas and that the same was revoked when the resort was completed is a lie”.

Romana said the truth of the matter was that the incentives were given as part of the state’s investment policy, and this policy exists even today.

“The incentives for eco projects are still in force. The current incentives being offered by the AAP government are more than what Sukhvilas received,” Romana said, sharing details of eight hotels and 56 industries that had received similar incentives under this policy in Mohali alone. He added that around 600 projects have benefited from the policy across the state.

Romana asserted that the incentives in the new Punjab Industrial and Business Development Policy framed by the AAP government had increased the SGST exemption from 75% for 10 years to 100% for 15 years. “The electricity duty exemption has also been increased from 100% for 10 years to 100% for 15 years. This shows the CM is completely ignorant about policies or is a habitual liar,” he added.

‘Tax waiver allegations untrue’

Romana said the CM’s contention that incentives worth 108 crore had been given to Sukhvilas also had no basis. “The actual figure of SGST/ VAT refund was only 4.29 crore. I challenge him (Mann) to show receipts/transfer of 85 crore refund to Metro Green.”

Sukhvilas was originally known as Metro Eco Green Resort village. The SAD leader said Mann’s statements about luxury tax and annual license fee incentive refunds were also a lie. “Union government abolished luxury tax in July 2017, and while the CM has claimed that a license fee incentive of 11.44 crore was given, in actuality it’s only 79.90 lakh”, he said.

Showing receipts, Romana said: “The road was paid for by Metro Greens and 68.13 lakh was transferred to the Mandi Board for this purpose.”

The Akali leader said the change of land use (CLU) and permission for construction of the resort on land under the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) was given by the Union government.

“All permissions for the Sukhvilas project were sought from the centre between 2008 and 2011. The same acreage (20.80 acres) of non-forest land was transferred in the name of the Punjab Forest Department as per rates fixed by the Supreme Court in its order dated March 28, 2008,” he added.

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