The Indian government sold 'enemy properties' worth Rs 1,874 crore in April by speeding the process of selling such assets to meet its disinvestment target of Rs 90,000-crore set for the current fiscal.
In the first month of the financial year 2019-20, the government gathered Rs 2,350 crore as disinvestment proceeds which includes Rs 476 crore from the IPO (Initial Public Offering) of Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL) and Rs 1,874 crore from the sale of 'Enemy Property', according to data on the DIPAM website.
'Enemy property' refers to assets left behind by a person who has migrated from India to an enemy country (mainly China or Pakistan) back when India was at war. The government has been looking to monetize these dormant assets that include property, equity, jewellery, land and buildings, that have been lying for decades.
In November 2018, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved a mechanism and procedure to sell 'enemy shares' and 'enemy properties' by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM).
Later in March 2019, the Cabinet cleared the mechanism for monetisation of immovable 'enemy property' assets held under the custody of the Custodian of Enemy Property for India (CEPI).
The CEPI or the Ministry of Home Affairs selects the properties for sale in consultation with stakeholders and the state government. Such assets would have to be free of encumbrances and encroachment. The final approval for sale of such assets is given by a ministerial panel headed by the finance minister.
In the previous financial year, the government mopped up Rs 84,972 crore from disinvestment, including sale of 'enemy shares' worth Rs 779 crore.
Inputs from PTI