The government on Thursday took a decision to sell the shares of the “enemy property” belonging to individuals and entities. The proceeds from the sale of the shares, held by the custodian of the enemy property will form part of disinvestment receipts, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad informed the press after the cabinet meeting.
After coming to the power in 2014, the BJP government took notice of these dormant entities through a series of decisions. The government has given special emphasis on the strategic disinvestment of such entities and companies. The Department of Disinvestment has been renamed as Department of Investment and Public Asset Management or ‘DIPAM‘, a decision aimed at proper management of Centre’s investments in equity including its disinvestment in central public sector undertakings. For the current financial year, the govt has set the ambitious target of 80,000 crores. The cabinet decision has come in the wake of achieving the said target. This strategic disinvestment will generate an estimated 3000 crore. The receipts from disinvestment will provide the government with the required funding for welfare schemes so that masses could benefit from it.
Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju introduced the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016. The measure seeks to replace an ordinance promulgated to this effect on 7 January 2016. “The bill declares transfer of enemy property will be void, applies retrospectively to transfers that have occurred before or after 1968. This bill prevents any civil courts or any other authorities from entertaining disputes relates to enemy property”. Subsequently, the NDA government has passed the bill in both the houses in March 2017.
Union ministry which acts as a custodian of enemy properties has estimated that over 9400 enemy properties worth more than Rs 1 lac crore were left behind by people who took citizenship of Pakistan and China. These people moved out of the country and took permanent accommodation in the host countries leaving behind the large properties behind. After the wars of 1962 Indian governments has taken control over these properties as enemy properties.
The decision will monetize the dormant properties and movable assets through disinvestment of shares and the generated revenue receipts will be used for the welfare programmes said law minister. The sale of shares from enemy properties will not face any intervention by the court and will be certified by the custodian. The sale process will be monitored by finance ministers with a group of ministers and the department of public asset management will felicitate the process of selling. The NDA government has given a huge impetus to disinvestment, all to restructure the economy and create a viable environment for the investors.
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