State-owned Hindustan Salts Ltd (HSL) will lease out about 50,000 acres of its land to generate more than Rs 100 crore revenue per year and use the money to fund its modernisation plan.
HSL is exploring opportunities to use this land to attract power companies, automobile majors and bio-fuel growers or for development of special economic zones.
HSL, the only government company engaged in salt manufacturing, has 25,000 acres of surplus land in Rajasthan and 23,000 acres in Gujarat.
According to HSL executives, the surplus land is valued at about Rs 450 crore in the market due to its proximity to airports and railway stations.
HSL's chairman and managing director K Ponnusamy told Hindustan Times that the company had drawn up plans to lease out the land or enter into a joint venture to generate resources for its modernisation.
"The decision has been taken to generate resources for funding future plans by leasing out 48,000 acres. They are available in a single stretch of 23,000 acres near Ahemadabad and 25,000 acres near the Jaipur-Alwar National Highway," the chairman said.
"We plan to introduce new products in the market and that need new technology for production and packaging. This cannot be undertaken without capital.
"According to our estimate, if the surplus land is utilised, we would be able to generate a minimum Rs 100 crore per annum," said Ponnusamy.
The land in Rajasthan is about an hour’s drive from the Jaipur airport on the Jaipur-Ajmer National Highway and is situated at Sambhar lake. The property is under the Sambhar Salts Ltd, a joint venture between HSL and the Rajasthan government that owns 40 per cent stake in the property.
In Gujarat, the property is completely owned by HSL and is an hour's drive from the Ahmedabad airport. It is situated at Kharaghoda in Sundar Nagar district and has a lake for fresh water supply.