Centre Identifies Over 3,000 New Enemy Properties
(This was originally posted in Economic Times by Rahul Tripathi)
The Centre has identified over 3,000 new enemy properties left behind by the Chinese and Pakistani nationals after the India-China war in 1962 and Indo-Pak wars in 1965 and 1971. The number of enemy properties vested with the Custodian of Enemy Properties for India (CEPI) has risen to 12,426 from 9,406, according to government officials.
In the wake of the Chinese aggression in 1962, CEPI was called upon to take charge of the Chinese assets, with the aim of attaching the properties under the Defence of India Rules, 1962. In 1968, the Enemy Property Act was enacted to deal with such properties. The Act was further amended in 1977 and 2017.
Uttar Pradesh tops the list of Pakistani enemy properties (see box). West Bengal has the second-highest number of immovable enemy properties left behind by either Pakistani or Chinese nationals. Last year, a group of ministers headed by Amit Shah was set up to monitor the disposal of such properties. The value of 9,406 enemy properties was estimated at ₹1 lakh crore.
Besides immovable properties, enemy properties also consist of shares, gold and silver ornaments. According to home ministry officials, CEPI has attached about 6.5 crore enemy shares in 996 companies. Till November 2019, 5.73 crore shares in 130 companies were sold for ₹1,788.75 crore through Department of Investment and Public Asset Management. Similarly, CEPI is currently in possession of 2.0264 kg gold and 45.3334 kg silver ornaments worth ₹38 lakh.
As per official data, the maximum number of properties left behind by the Chinese nationals is located in Meghalaya, followed by West Bengal and Assam (see box). Among the Kolkata properties, 14 are tanneries, mostly located in Tangra, also known as China Town. In Meghalaya, the properties include restaurants and shoe stores. “A few more properties have been identified as enemy properties. The process of disposal of immovable properties has been initiated,” said a senior government official.