Maharashtra to raise Rs 2 lakh crore by selling unused land

Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan said the government can raise at least Rs 20,000 crore by selling land of the unused water canal passing through Pune city. (representative image; Express)

The debt-ridden Maharashtra government has decided to raise around Rs 2 lakh crore by selling unused land located at prime locations in the city and other parts of the state. A committee headed by D K Jain, Additional Chief Secretary (Finance) has been set up to take the decision of selling government land located at Aarey colony here and in other parts across Maharashtra.

A Government Resolution (GR) of the Finance department issued on August 16 by Jain said that the state was in need of Rs 80,000 crore to complete irrigation projects. The construction of the proposed Nagpur-Mumbai Super Communication Highway will need at least Rs 20,000 crore to Rs 40,000 crore.

As per the GR, Maharashtra will also need another Rs 40,000 crore for the up-gradation of existing state highways into national highways. It further said the Maharashtra Electricity Distribution Company Limited will need over Rs 30,000 crore to reduce electricity leakage and the work will help to reduce power leakage from existing 14.5 per cent to 8 per cent.

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“Huge funds are required to complete these development works and if received from any other resources besides taking new loans, it will boost the development of the state,” Jain said. The officer said in other countries like China, land was the main resource of raising funds for the government.

“If we concentrate on monetisation of land, there will be no need to increase taxes. It will also give relief to common people as well as industries,” he added. The committee, which includes Principal Secretary (Revenue and Forest), Principal Secretary (UD-1), Principal Secretary of PWD and Water Resource, Secretary of Revenue, Forest, Industries, Energy and Labour departments, will make a list of unused land of various government departments and will calculate valuation of such lands.

“It is expected that the committee will submit its report within next three months and later the decision to raise the fund will be taken,” an official from the Finance department said. According to the official, over Rs 2 lakh crore will be raised by selling the unused land by the government.

“It is impossible to allocate huge amounts for completion of works from the state exchequer. We also have a limitation of imposing new taxes on people. Hence, we are finding out other resources of income,” state Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said. Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan said the government can raise at least Rs 20,000 crore by selling land of the unused water canal passing through Pune city.

Source: Indian Express

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