DoT planssale of 773 acres of prime real estate worth around Rs 10,000-15,000 crore
The department of telecommunications (DoT) is planning to monetise more than 773 acres of prime real estate worth around Rs 10,000-15,000 crore that it controls through Hemisphere Properties India (HPIL), the company created to take over surplus land from the erstwhile Videsh Sanchar Nigam (VSNL).
In February 2002, a Tata Group company, Panatone Finvest, acquired a majority stake in VSNL, now called Tata Communications, for around Rs 1,400 crore as part of the then NDA government’s disinvestment programme. According to news sources, Tata Communications has started the demerger process wherein it will transfer its shares in HPIL to the government and other minority shareholders. Following the demerger, the government will hold around 70% stake from the current 51.12%. Confirming the development, a senior government official told a newspaper, “Government plans to monetise this land, but as of now, we are waiting for the demerger to get over, which is expected by March 2018. After this, DoT will chalk out plans on whether to sell land blocks or to develop the holdings and then lease and rent it like other PSUs.” The demerger could not take place earlier as the Tatas had raised the issue of capital gains tax (CGT) that needed to be paid while transferring land to the government.