30 May 2016 Current Affairs: Fourteen out of 16 perennially loss making hotels owned by state-run ITDC will be sold off and the process to privatise them has already started, Tourism and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma .The Finance Ministry is taking forward the disinvestment plan to totally offload government's stakes in all the ITDC-run hotels except the Ashoka and Samrat hotels in the national capital.
The government decided to privatise the hotels to improve the financial health of India Tourism Development Corporation BSE 12.10 % (ITDC), a public sector undertaking that currently runs 16 hotels in Delhi, Patna, Jammu, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Puri, Bhopal, Bharatpur, Jaipur, Guwahati, Mysore, Puducherry and Itanagar.
The process to privatise the 14 hotels has already been started. There are certain issues with the states and we are trying to address them .During NDA's first stint in power between 1999 and 2004, the then Vajpayee government had divested its stakes in 18 ITDC hotels, bringing down the number of state-run hotels from 34 to 16. Asked about the amount of money the government was eyeing to raise from the sale of the hotels, he refused to give any figure.
He was asked whether Tourism Ministry has put on hold appointment of Amitabh Bachchan as face of the Incredible India campaign after his name appeared in the Panama Papers controversy. The director general of ASI and the Culture Secretary have visited the temple along with a team from IIT Madras. They said there is no risk to the temple. Our Prime Minister has also directed us to do it at the earliest .