Thiruvananthapuram: Six big resort groups proved lucky as the Kerala Tourism Department waived Rs 2.23 crore lease dues citing lack of business during the prolonged COVID-19 shutdowns.
The waiver has been allowed to the private resorts having a lease deal with the Bekal Resorts Development Corporation (BRDC) in Kasaragod district.
The decision was made by the Tourism Department considering the recommendation from the BRDC MD pointing out that these facilities had remained closed from March 23 until October 31, 2020, and from May 8 through August 4 in 2021 owing to the COVID-19 lockdowns.
In response to charges that private resort groups with assets running into crores have been benefitted from the largesse, BRDC MD P Shijin maintained that the tourism sector was the most affected during the crisis. He said a waiver proportionate to that given in other sectors has only been allowed to the resorts too.
Three institutions, including a resort, in the cooperative sector have also got a waiver of Rs 84.73 lakh. Pallikkara Cooperative Bank’s Bekal Fort Beach Park got the highest waiver of Rs 83.6 lakh.
In the private sector, the highest waiver was allowed to Lalit resorts: Rs 81.51 lakh.
Rs 4.88 lakh dues of KTDC and Rs 3.25 lakh dues from the person who had taken the contract for parking were also written off.