India set to auction ‘enemy’ properties of Pakistani nationals worth 1 lakh crore

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ISLAMABAD: The Indian government has decided to auction properties worth one trillion rupees, belonging to over 9,400 people, mostly Pakistani nationals, designating them as enemy properties on the pretext that these people have left the country.

According to Kashmir Media Service (KMS), the Indian home ministry has started the process of identifying these properties. The move came after the amendment of the 49-year-old Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Act which ensured that the heirs of those who migrated to Pakistan and China during the partition and afterwards will have no claim over the properties left behind in India.

“At a recent meeting, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh was informed that a survey of 6,289 enemy properties had been completed and that of the remaining 2,991 properties vested with the custodian would be completed,” a home ministry official told media.

Singh directed that properties which were free from encumbrance should be disposed of quickly for monetisation. Another official told the media that the estimated value of these 9,400 properties is around Rs 1 lakh crore, which will prove to be a windfall for the government once they are sold off.

Among the 9,280 properties left behind by Pakistani nationals, the highest 4,991 properties are located in Uttar Pradesh followed by West Bengal which has 2,735 such estates. There are 487 such properties in Delhi and among the 126 properties left behind by Chinese nationals, the highest 57 are located in Meghalaya followed by West Bengal with 29. Assam has seven such properties.

According to the new Act, ‘enemy property’ refers to any property belonging to, held or managed on behalf of an enemy, an enemy subject or an enemy firm.

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