The government has reconstituted a high level committee for the disposal of enemy properties that have been left behind by those who migrated and took up citizenship of Pakistan and China.
The committee, which is headed by a senior officer of the Union home ministry, will look after the disposal of over 12,600 immovable enemy properties, which may fetch up to Rs 1 lakh crore to the exchequer, officials said.
According to a home ministry notification, an additional secretary rank officer will be the chairman of the committee while there will be five members from different central government wings besides a member secretary.
The move is seen as a fresh effort by the government to monetise the vast assets left behind by people who left India during partition and after the 1962 war.
A total of 12,485 enemy properties were left behind by those who took up Pakistani citizenship, while 126 enemy properties were left behind by those who took up Chinese citizenship.
The highest number of enemy properties were found in Uttar Pradesh (6,255 properties), followed by West Bengal (4,088 properties), Delhi (658), Goa (295), Maharashtra (207), Telangana (158), Gujarat (151), Tripura (105) and Bihar (94).
The committee will give its recommendation to the central government for the disposal of enemy property or the manner in which the enemy property may be dealt with and matters connected therewith.
The recommendations may include sale, usage by a central government department or transfer of enemy property.
So far, movable properties worth about Rs 2,700 crore have been disposed of and the amount has been deposited in the consolidated fund of India account.
However, no immovable enemy property has been sold so far.
The notification said that an additional secretary in the ministry of home affairs will be the chairman of the committee while members include the Financial Advisor in the MHA, a joint secretary in the MHA, a joint secretary in the department of disinvestment and public asset, a joint secretary or equivalent in the ministry of law and justice and the chief engineer of the CPWD.
The custodian of the enemy property for India will be the member-secretary.
Earlier, the custodian of the enemy property for India was a member while the joint secretary in the MHA dealing with enemy property matters was the member secretary.
Enemy properties are vested with the custodian of enemy property for India, an authority created under the Enemy Property Act 1968.
According to the law, enemy property refers to any property belonging to, held or managed on behalf of an enemy, an enemy subject or an enemy firm.