After a period of 35 years, the New Delhi Municipal Council has decided to hike the license fee of two five star hotels -Le Meridien and The Lalit.
The civic body is supposed to renew the license fee every 33 years as per the licence deed which is for 99 years. However, that period had expired in March, 2014.
While the Le Meridien used to pay Rs 2.68 crore per annum, the hotel will now have to pay over Rs 3 crore per month to the civic body. Similarly, The Lalit currently pays Rs 1.4 crore annually but will now have to cough up Rs 4.4 crore per month.
A decision in this regard was taken at a council meeting yesterday. The revised licence fee has been decided considering the area of the two hotels. Le Meridien is spread over 4.29 acres, while The Lalit sits on a 6.04 acre plot.
“The actual licence fee for the hotels will be decided by NDMC’s financial advisor SBI Cap, however, as an interim measure, the council has decided to set the fee at Rs 3 crore and Rs 4.4 crore per month for Le Meridien and Lalit respectively,” a senior NDMC official said.
“Currently, Le Meridien pays Rs 2.68 crore per annum to NDMC or 21 per of its gross turnover, whichever is higher. This amounts to a meagre Rs 30 lakh per month. The Lalit pays Rs 1.45 crore annually that amounts to Rs 15 lakh per month,” the official added.
The civic body has been under the scanner of CBI for alleged irregularities in recovery of Rs 400 crore licence fee from Le Meridien. It is alleged that NDMC officials allowed a settlement of pending licence fee dues towards the civic body by the hotel by accepting a one-time fee of over Rs 150 crore which allegedly resulted in a loss of Rs 400 crore to the exchequer.