The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the procedure to sell enemy shares worth more than Rs 3,000 crore. The ‘in principle’ approval is according to the Enemy Property Act, 1968. The proceeds from the sale of these shares will be deposited as disinvestment proceeds in the Government Account maintained by Ministry of Finance.
A total of 6,50,75,877 shares of 996 companies belonging to 20,232 shareholders have been identified. Of the 996 companies, 588 are still active and 139 of them are listed. These shares have been lying unused since the Enemy Property Act came into force in 1968.
The shares are in the custody of Ministry of Home Affairs and Custodian of Enemy Property of India (CEPI). The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management has been authorised to sell them. The sale will be guided by an inter ministerial group.
After Thursday’s approval, an Alternative Mechanism headed by the Finance Minister will decide the process of selling the shares. The other members of the committee will include Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Home Minister.
The decision, a statement on Thursday said, will lead to monetisation of movable enemy property lying dormant for decades and “sale proceeds from this may be used for development and social welfare programmes”.
Some properties, including companies’ shares belonging to nationals of Pakistan, were tagged by the Indian government as enemy properties during the wars in 1962, 1965 and 1971 and vested with CEPI.