Cabinet approves mechanism to sale enemy shares

New Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS) The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the mechanism and procedure for sale of over 6.5 crore “Enemy Shares” lying unutilised since 1968.

“The Cabinet has approved the mechanism and procedure for sale of over 6.5 crore enemy shares of 996 companies worth Rs 3,000 crore which have been lying unutilised since 1968,” Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told a press conference here.

He said that sale proceeds will be used for development and social welfare programmes.

According to an official release, a total number of 6,50,75,877 shares in 996 companies of 20,323 shareholders are under the custody of Custodian of Enemy Property of India (CEPI).

Of these 996 companies, 588 are functional or active companies, while 139 of these are listed and the remaining being unlisted.

The process for selling these shares will be approved by the Alternative Mechanism (AM) under the Chairmanship of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and comprising Minister of Road Transport and Highway Nitin Gadkari and Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

It said that the sale proceeds will be deposited as disinvestment proceeds in the government account maintained by the Finance Ministry.

Before initiation of sale of any enemy shares, the CEPI shall certify that their sale 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 of by the government.

The decision will lead to monetisation of enemy shares that have been lying dormant for decades since coming into force of the Enemy Property Act in 1968.

Through an amendment in 2017, an enabling legislative provision was created for the disposal of such properties.