Maharashtra government is working on ways to transfer leased land into free hold, which would enable it to generate revenue by way of selling these plots that are currently registered under the Lease Act. A committee, headed by state Revenue department Principal Secretary Manukamar Srivastava, has been set up to finalise a formula for the transfer. Mumbai city collector has also appealed to the owners of land whose lease has expired to renew their agreement or else their properties would be taken back by the government.
The state government had approved the amendment in Section 29 of Maharashtra Land Revenue Code-1966 on February 17, 2016, and the bill was passed in the previous Budget session of the state Legislature. According to the amendment, the state has obtained the power to transfer lease land into free hold after imposing certain penalty charges on the lessee. A revenue department official said there are 1,291 properties in the island city that are given on lease for 33, 66, 99 or 999 years, out of which the lease of 691 properties has expired.
“Mumbai collector has appealed to these lessees to renew (the agreement) or the government will take their properties back. We will either make these lessees permanent owners or take possession if they are not interested in the properties,” the official said.
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The government will first decide which lease properties should be transfered as free hold, he said. “There are some hospitals to which the state has given land for a social purpose. If we transfer the land of these hospitals to free hold, we will loose our 20 per cent free beds quota that is meant for poor patients,” he further said. The state’s former revenue minister Eknath Khadse, who took the decision on amending the Revenue Code-1966, claimed that this reform will help the government garner revenue of about Rs 50,000 crore.
“I took several decisions during my tenure that will change the scenario of the department. However, the government Resolution (GR) of many decisions that had been taken is yet to be published,” Khadse said.