The Union Cabinet is set to consider on a policy which is aimed at helping unlock values of unused land under Government Institutions in a transparent manner. Salient features of the proposed comprehensive Land Sale policy:
- It covers land owned by statutory bodies and surplus land having a market value of less than Rs 50 crore
- This value of land can be sold using the e-auctions methods.
- Sale of land of higher value will require cabinet approval.
- Government held large tracts of unused land through its ministries, statutory bodies and public sector companies, will come under the purview of this bill.
- The proposed land alienation policy, is an offshoot of the Ashok Chawla Committee on allocation of natural resources
- It will allow the government to gain from the rise in price of land all over the country through outright sale or leasing.
In the absence of a clear policy, land held by such Government bodies, seldom gets a good value from their sales, primarily due to questionable deals. According to estimates, the major ports in the country have a combined land asset of 258,000 acres. Similarly, the Airport Authority of India has a land pile of about 20,000 hectares while the defence services together hold 17 lakh acres.