New Delhi Correspondent
The Indian government on Friday night allowed the sale of 6.5 crore “enemy” shares in 996 companies which were acquired by the government under the Enemy Property Act, 1968.
The approval of the sale of shares belonging to people and entities who left India at the time of the Partition of the Indian sub-continent in 1947, came at a meeting of the cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The value of these shares is estimated at Rs 3,000 crore at current market prices.
The decision will lead to monetization of enemy shares that had been lying dormant for decades since coming into force of the Enemy Property Act in 1968, an official statement said adding the money generated from the sale of the shares are to be deposited as disinvestment proceeds in the government’s account maintained by the Ministry of Finance.
The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management has been authorized to sell the shares.
The total number of 6, 50, 75,877 “enemy” shares in 996 companies of 20,323 shareholders are under the custody of Custodian of Enemy Property of India (CEPI) under the Home Ministry. Of these 996 companies, 588 are functional and active companies, 139 of these are listed and the remaining unlisted.
Before initiation of sale of any enemy shares, the CEPI will certify that the sale of the shares is not in contravention of any judgment, decree or order of any court, tribunal or other authority or any law for the time being in force and can be disposed off by the government.
Under The Enemy Property Act of 1968, the definition of “enemy” was “enemy” or “enemy subject” or “enemy firm” means a person or country who or which was an enemy, an enemy subject or an enemy firm, as the case may be, under the Defence of India Act and Rules but does not include a citizen of India.
The Act was amended in 2017 which created an enabling legislative provision for the sale of enemy property.