Govt approves mechanism for sale of enemy shares worth Rs 3,000 cr; proceeds to be used for development

The government approved a mechanism for sale of enemy shares which at the current price is estimated at around Rs 3,000 crore.

According to Enemy Property Act, 1968, “Enemy property” refers to any property belonging to, held or managed on behalf of an enemy, an enemy subject or an enemy firm.

The decision, taken by the Union Cabinet, will lead to monetization of movable enemy property lying dormant for decades and the proceeds will be used for development and social welfare programmes, an official statement said.

A total number of 6,50,75,877 shares in 996 companies of 20,323 shareholders are under the custody of Custodian of Enemy Property of India (CEPI).

Total shares, known as “enemy shares numbering 6,50,75,877 worth Rs 3,000 crore, are lying unutilized because enemy property act includes movable and immovable property, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said after the Cabinet meeting.

Of these companies, 588 are functional/ active companies, 139 of these are listed with remaining being unlisted.

The decision will lead to monetization of movable enemy property lying dormant for decades and the proceeds will be used for development and social welfare programmes.

Total shares, known as “enemy shares numbering 6,50,75,877 worth Rs 3,000 crore, are lying unutilized because enemy property act includes movable and immovable property. Of these 996 companies, 588 are functional/ active companies, 139 of these are listed with remaining being unlisted.

When wars broke out between India and China in 1962, and India and Pakistan in 1965 and 1971, the central government took over properties of citizens of China and Pakistan in India under the Defence of India Acts. These Acts defined an ‘enemy’ as a country that committed an act of aggression against India, and its citizens.

The properties of enemies in India were classified as enemy property. The properties included land, buildings, shares held in companies, gold and jewelry of the citizens of enemy countries. The responsibility of the administration of enemy properties was handed over to the Custodian of Enemy Property, an office under the central government.

Enemy properties Act:

After the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965, the Enemy Property Act was enacted in 1968, which regulates such properties and lists the custodian’s powers.

The government amended the Act in the wake of a claim laid by the heirs of Raja Mohammad Amir Mohammad Khan, known as Raja of Mahmudabad, on his properties spread across Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

The government has vested these properties in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India, an office instituted under the Central government.

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