About 2,000 acres of land belonging to five loss making PSUs would be put under the hammer soon by NBCC. Hindustan Cables Ltd, Instrumentation Ltd, HMT Bearing Ltd, HMT Watches Ltd, and Tungabhadra Steel Products are the companies that have have put their land holdings up for auction.
A senior government official was quoted as telling a national daily that if the state governments and the PSUs did not bid for those land parcels, the government will examine the feasibility of affordable housing projects before opening the auction to private firms.
In the process, state-owned construction firm NBCC would also hold talks with state governments in case they are keen to use the land for such projects. NBCC chairman Anoop Kumar Mittal said. “If the state government is looking to utilise the land bank available for housing projects, NBCC will participate and provide its expertise,” he said, adding that they are already in talks with some states.
Mittal said there are six more firms that would put their land holdings up for sale in the next few months. “We have also written written a letter to all such firms seeking details of their land banks,” he added. NBCC has been appointed as the land management agency for auctioning the real estate assets of loss-making firms and it will get 0.5 per cent of the value realised from the disposal of such land as fee, subject to a cap of Rs. 1 crore.
Earlier this year, the government came out with guidelines on closure of sick and loss-making state-run enterprises and disposal of their assets, including land. The land management agency will determine the current land use and its suitability for industrial, manufacturing or some other purposes, the guidelines said.
The land of such closed units will be first offered to the central government, followed by another central public sector enterprise, state departments and finally state government bodies. In case no offer is received in six months, the disposal of immovable assets will be done through auction, the guidelines said.
Land and other immovable assets of five sick public sector units including HMT Watches and Hindustan Cables have been put on sale as the government looks to shut the continuously loss-making units. NBCC (India) Ltd is auctioning the assets, which will be sold only to central and state government organisations.
Earlier in September last year, NBCC was appointed as Land Management Agency (LMA) for disposal of land assets of the sick PSUs. NBCC had informed BSE that it has “initiated the process” and has issued an advertisement ‘Opportunity for government organisations for purchasing land/immovable assets’ in this regard.