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Current Affairs

MHA allows states to use enemy properties for public purpose

Date: 13 March 2019 Tags: Bills & Laws, Ministries & Departments

Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has allowed state governments to put to "public use" some enemy properties. In this regard, MHA has amended guidelines for disposal of the Enemy Property Order, 2018

 Key Facts

  • Enemy properties are those properties that were left behind by people who migrated to Pakistan since Partition and to China after the 1962 Sino-Indian war.
  • New guidelines allow usages of enemy property by state government exclusively for public use.
  • The move comes as part of Central Government's efforts to sell more than 9,400 enemy properties, worth over Rs. 1 lakh crore and Rs 3,000 crore worth of enemy shares.

Enemy properties

  • Enemy properties are those properties that were left behind by the people who took citizenship of Pakistan and China.
  • Legal Provisions: Parliament had enacted Enemy Property Act in 1968 to regulate such properties and lists custodian's powers. 
  • This act was amended in 2017 to ensure that successors of those who migrated to Pakistan and China will have no claim over the properties left behind in India.
  • Value of enemy properties: There are 9,280 such properties left behind by Pakistani nationals and 126 by Chinese nationals. The estimated value of all enemy properties is approximately Rs 1 lakh crore.
  • Of the total properties left behind by those who took Pakistani citizenship, 4,991 are located in Uttar Pradesh (highest in the country), West Bengal (2,735) and Delhi 487.
  • The highest number of properties left by Chinese nationals is in Meghalaya (57), West Bengal (29) and Assam (7).
  • Besides, total 6,50,75,877 shares in 996 companies of 20,323 shareholders are under custody of Custodian of Enemy Property for India.
  • Of these companies, 588 are functional or active companies, 139 of these are listed and remaining are unlisted.
  • Central government in February 2019 had constituted high-level committee to recommend quantum and price or price band for sale of enemy shares, worth Rs 3,000 crore.