At least 11 five-star hotels in the national capital, including the iconic Taj and Claridges, are on the tax defaulter list of New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) with their total dues amounting to Rs 320 crore. The civic body, in a report prepared at the end of the 2016-17 fiscal, has identified these hotels among 166 alleged defaulters, which have dues pending above Rs 10 lakh for the last four years. However, according to NDMC officials, all the hotels have moved court challenging the tax assessment and any further action by the civic body cannot be taken since the matter is sub-judice.
“On the defaulter list are hotels like Taj Palace (Rs 42 crore), The Leela (Rs 18 crore), Claridges (Rs 4 crore) among others, the highest being Delhi Golf Club which owes NDMC Rs 700 crore,” said a senior NDMC official from the taxation department. As per the process, the properties are issued notices to clear the dues. If they fail to do so, NDMC can attach their assets. However, in this case the matter is in court, the official said.
Meanwhile, the spokespersons at Taj Palace and Claridges denied any pending dues, saying their payments till date have been made. A Delhi Golf Club official said there was a “huge issue” with the tax assessment leading to the amount in hundreds of crores. “We have sought a reassessment and the matter is pending in court,” the official said.
Among others, on the defaulter list are Hotel Samrat (Rs 31 cr), ITC Maurya Sheraton (Rs 2 cr), Ashok Yatri Niwas (Rs 10 cr), Janpath (Rs 26 cr), Imperial (Rs 55 cr), The Park (Rs 18 cr) and Hotel Ambassador (Rs 12 crore). While emails sent to other hotels seeking comments, did not elicit response immediately, a spokesperson at the Leela expressed inability to comment till tomorrow.
Around 7,000 properties in NDMC area, including the posh Lutyen’s zone, pay tax to NDMC. Around 350 of them are high- value properties like hotels, clubs and some central government establishments. The civic body collected Rs 577 crore as property tax in 2016-17, Rs 98 crore higher than last fiscal.