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    “Centre initiates eviction and sale of properties belonging to enemies”

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    The Union Home Ministry has recently initiated the process of eviction and sale of enemy properties, which are immovable assets left behind by individuals who have taken citizenship of Pakistan and China. There are 12,611 such establishments, collectively valued at over Rs 1 lakh crore, in the country. These enemy properties are currently vested with the Custodian of Enemy Property for India (CEPI), an authority created under the Enemy Property Act.

    According to a recent notification by the Home Ministry, the guidelines for disposal of these enemy properties have been changed. The process for eviction of these properties shall now be initiated with the help of the District Magistrate or Deputy Commissioner concerned before the sale of properties. In case of enemy properties valued below Rs 1 crore, the custodian shall offer them for purchase to the occupant first. If the offer is refused, then the enemy property shall be disposed of in accordance with the procedure specified in the guidelines.

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    For enemy properties having valuation between Rs one crore and Rs 100 crore, the CEPI shall dispose of them through e-auction or otherwise as may be decided by the central government and at the rate determined by the Enemy Property Disposal Committee. The e-auction platform of public enterprise, the Metal Scrap Trade Corporation Limited, shall be used by the CEPI for e-auction of enemy properties.

    The government has earned over Rs 3,400 crore from disposal of enemy properties, mostly movable assets like shares and gold. However, none of the 12,611 immovable enemy property has been monetised so far by the government. The Home Ministry has launched a national survey of enemy properties spread across 20 states and three Union Territories to identify and subsequently monetise all such properties.

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    The first-of-its-kind national survey by the Directorate General of Defence Estates (DGDE) will assess the present condition and value of the enemy properties identified by the CEPI. The government formed a Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by Union Home minister Amit Shah, in 2020 to supervise monetisation of enemy properties. Out of the 12,611 properties vested with the CEPI, a total of 12,485 were related to Pakistani nationals and 126 to Chinese citizens.

    The highest number of enemy properties were found in Uttar Pradesh (6,255 properties), followed by West Bengal (4,088 properties), Delhi (659), Goa (295), Maharashtra (208), Telangana (158), Gujarat (151), Tripura (105), Bihar (94), Madhya Pradesh (94), Chhattisgarh (78) and Haryana (71). There are 71 enemy properties in Kerala, 69 in Uttarakhand, 67 in Tamil Nadu, 57 in Meghalaya, 29 in Assam, 24 in Karnataka, 22 in Rajasthan, 10 in Jharkhand, four in Daman and Diu and one each in Andhra Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

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    Rajesh M
    Rajesh M
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