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National: Plans to establish Land Authority of India to monetize unused land

The government has proposed a plan to establish a Land Authority of India in order to monetize unused government land. The Land Authority of India will take over the unused and underutilized land. It is anticipated that monetization of the land will fetch approximately Rs. 1 lakh crore.

 

Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath proposed the plan last month, which has been discussed among various key ministries including finance ministry and prime minister’s office. The national body will take care of the prime land with many government bodies that has either not been used or used very less. It is anticipated that the windfall from the land will help cope up with country’s increasing fiscal deficit.

 

As told by Nath to Economic Times, “ Surplus land across the country with bodies such CPWD, DDA, Railways, Defence, public sector undertakings and other government agencies can be put in the sale basket. This can help us raise over Rs 1 lakh crore in six months and help us rein in the fiscal deficit. The policy should be to either utilize the land or sell it.”

 

In proposal it has been mentioned that the finance secretary should chair the authority and last three Chief Visionary Officer(CVO)s and Comptroller and Auditor General of India(CAG)s should work as the members.

 

As per the official calculations around 60 sick Public Sector Units (PSU) in India hold about 20,000 hectare of unused land. The Indian Railways have around 4.59 lakh hectares of land with 0.38 lack hectares of vacant land in this. There are many other government bodies with whom a lot of land is lying completely unused or partially used. And if this land is utilized property it can help generate huge amounts, which can be further used for country’s development.

 

Favista Views, “The new national body can help in proper utilization and monetization of unused land lying with government bodies. But it might take some time to implement the plan, as the plan will go to different ministries for their views and acceptance.”

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