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Deccan Herald » National » Full Story

CPI(M) demands CBI probe on hotel sale



Demanding CBI enquiry into the alleged scam in the disinvestment of the Centaur Hotel in Mumbai, the CPI-M on Thursday said they would take up the issue with other opposition parties.

Briefing reporters here CPI-M leader Sitaram Yehchury said the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report had revealed loss of Rs 145.69 crore in revenue because of undercharging of lease rent and deduction of turnover levy in the sale of Centaur Hotel, Mumbai of Hotel Corporation of India to Batra Hospitality Private Limited (BHPL) in 2002.

“The government was not aware that BHPL which had purchased the hotel at a cost of Rs 83 crore resold the same reportedly at a price of Rs 115 crore. The Minister of Disinvestment had earlier dismissed the opposition charges of underhand dealings as fabricated and did not respond to specific charges of acts of omission by the government in the whole deal favouring A L Batra, the owner of BHPL,” he said.

Stating that CAG report has confirmed that Rs 145 crore revenue to public exchequer has been squandered away for the deal, Mr Yehchury said his party would write to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee for a CBI enquiry into the deal.
“We would take up this issue with other opposition parties to mount pressure on the government and to expose the rising corruption under NDA regime, where selling of public assets at throw away prices has become a sophisticated intellectual art,” he said.

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