Tourism corp properties up for sale?
Times of India By Himanshu Kaushik
TCGL Under Fire Over Lack Of Infrastructure; Set To Be Privatised
Properties of the Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited (TCGL) are likely to be put on sale at existing market rates as part of the privatisation of the public sector enterprise, the tourism department has decided at a meeting here.
A committee under the chairmanship of additional chief secretary (finance) has been formed to oversee the privatisation. A recent government resolution stated that open land and other properties belonging to TCGL may be sold after the price is decided by the committee. The committee will have additional chief secretary (finance), principal secretary (industry), secretary (tourism) and the managing director of TCGL as its members.
The move comes after TCGL came under criticism for lack of tourist infrastructure in the state. TCGL recorded an increase in tourist inflow of about 20 per cent after advertisements featuring brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan were aired on various television and radio channels. However, there were widespread complaints of inadequate infrastructure.
Officials said that land in possession of TCGL will be used for tourism purposes. If the land is not used, it has to be returned to the revenue department.
Officials also said that while fixing the upset price, the committee can gather inputs from district and state-level price committees. These committees will also be formed by the state government.
Earlier, during a high-level meeting chaired by chief secretary A K Joti, tourism secretary Vipul Mittra said for innovative tourism mega-projects, land will have to be given to developers at a concessional price. However, Mittra was advised to table a policy before the committee to take a final call.
Also, the meeting gave a final 'go ahead' to the privatisation policy of TCGL, which will, however, be monitored by the committee. D u r i n g the meeting, the issue of filling vac a n t posts of GAS officials was taken up. The meeting advised TCGL to go to open market for contractual appointment. However, before going in for any appointment, prior consent of the additional chief secretary (finance) and the general administration department is essential.
Also, the meeting, decided to create a new post for the strengthening of the Gujarat Yatradham Vikas Board. TCGL has been permitted to participate in prominent international meetings and exhibitions. However, this would be limited to three to four such events.
-A high-level panel has okayed privatisation of the tourism entity
-The committee will monitor privatisation process of TCGL
-TCGL gets approval to take part in prominent international meetings and exhibitions
-Unused land in possession of TCGL has to be returned to the revenue department
There were complaints of inadequate tourism facilities after an increase in tourists' inflow following advertisements featuring Amitabh Bachchan
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