MP to auction unused govt properties to fund direct money transfer schemes
- The MP government has released tenders for selling 18 properties including three bus depots and booking offices of MP Road Transport Corporation (MPRTC) apart from other government owned properties in the past 2 months.
Reeling under a debt of more than ₹2 lakh crore, the Madhya Pradesh government has decided to auction government properties that are not in use or are encroached, with an aim to generate revenue to meet the shortfall of ₹8,294 crore, projected for 2020-21, said officials.
To sell these properties, the state government set up a public asset management department in September 2020 for efficient management and rationalization of public assets, including monetization of unused properties.
The department has asked the 52 departments of the MP government to share the list of unused properties and land of higher value so that it could be auctioned. The state government’s target is to generate ₹1000 crore in six months by selling such properties, said one officer of the department, who is not authorized to talk to the media.
“The departments have started sharing the list of unused properties. Our priority is to sell the properties of MP Road Transport Corporation, which have been closed down many years ago and other such small offices and mills,” said the officer.
In the past two months, the MP government has released tenders for selling 18 properties including three bus depots and booking offices of MP Road Transport Corporation (MPRTC), a factory in Ujjain, a government office in Bhopal and government lands worth more than ₹200 crores, said an official. He added that more tenders will be released after the list submitted by the departments are finalised.
Another official said that the state government was in a hurry to generate revenue to fulfil the promises made for civic bodies’ polls and panchayat elections, which are slated to be held in April and May.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has transferred ₹4,600 crores into the bank accounts of different beneficiaries since November 2020 and more would be done in the next few months, according to the public relation department officials.
The state government has provided ₹20,000 crores for such money transfer schemes such as Sambal, Mukhyamntri Kalyan Krishi, Rising School and Teerth Darshan before the local body polls.
Economics professor Ganesh Kawade said, “It is a good decision of the state government to monetize the abandoned properties but they should select the properties wisely with the help of a team of experts. They should also ensure the proper valuation of the properties because there are chances of scam and undervaluing of the property to provide benefit to any private company.”
Transport minister Govind Singh Rajput said, “The state government will auction only those properties which are unused and encroached by private persons. The properties of MPRTC in other states, including Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, will also be auctioned along with properties worth crores of rupees in Madhya Pradesh. We don’t want to make an excuse for financial crises before the common people. We are here for the solution, not for making excuses.”
Also Read: MP Congress seeks Shivraj Chouhan's resignation after SC slammed law & order
“We will use generated revenue to run beneficial schemes of the government and to develop infrastructure,” he added.
Congress MLA Kunal Chaudhary said, “BJP-led state and central governments are planning to sell everything to private companies. What do they mean by unused properties and who is deciding what is useful and what is not?”
“Many towns don’t have bus stands but in the same towns they are planning to sell bus depots with an assurance that they will construct bus stands. This idea of revenue generation is to provide benefits to private companies, not for the welfare of common people.”