Sick PSEs’ land to be freed up for affordable housing
The Central government has initiated the process to free up huge land parcels belonging to sick and closing public sector enterprises (PSEs) in prime locations including in Gurgaon, Hyderabad and Pune. The government has identified at least seven land parcels totaling over 2,500 acres to construct the houses under affordable housing scheme.
The identified land are 90 acres at Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (IDPL) in Gurgaon, 29 acres at HMT Bearing Ltd in Hyderabad, 224 acres and 900 acres in Nainital and Burdwan respectively, 45 acres at HMT Watches in Nainital, 87 acres at Hindustan Antibiotics in Pune and 1,200 acres at Hindustan Engineering in Ranchi.
The government has started the process of closing these loss-making entities and monetizing their land which will be used to meet their outstanding liabilities.
“The government is working on the best revenue model and also how affordable houses can be built at these locations. Whether the land can be sold out rightly or should be given on long lease will be worked in the next 2-3 weeks,” said an official.
According to media reports, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and housing and urban affairs secretary Durga Shanker Mishra held a round of discussion on Monday. The proper revenue model, process, bidding criteria will be firmed up in the next fortnight. National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) is likely to be the transaction advisor and project manager.
The draft “Three-Year Action Agenda” of Niti Aayog has recommended the need to monetize the land in possession of the PSEs and to push the availability of land. Many sick PSEs own large pieces of unused land in prime urban areas. Closure of these units can help bring substantial land into the market. The closure of a number of identified sick PSEs is underway and should be expedited.