Maharashtra to implement waqf rules; income from assets will be used for charitable purposes | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Maharashtra to implement waqf rules; income from assets will be used for charitable purposes

By, Mumbai
Nov 14, 2020 12:30 AM IST

A 292 square metre (sqm) plot at Bhuleshwar in south Mumbai becomes the first such case where the rules were implemented.

The Maharashtra government has decided to implement the Waqf Properties Lease (Amendment) Rules, approved by the Centre this year. With the implementation of the rules, waqf properties can now be leased out at 2.5% of the market value, per annum, instead of minimal rates. A 292 square metre (sqm) plot at Bhuleshwar in south Mumbai becomes the first such case. The income generated can be used by the trust for betterment of the backward section of the community, minority affairs minister Nawab Malik said.

The income generated can be used by the trust for betterment of the backward section of the community, minority affairs minister Nawab Malik said.(HT File)
The income generated can be used by the trust for betterment of the backward section of the community, minority affairs minister Nawab Malik said.(HT File)

Waqf is the property given in the name of God for religious and charitable purposes in Islam. Maharashtra has around 93,418 acres of waqf land spread over around 23,566 registered properties, with the maximum land parcels in Aurangabad region — 57,802 acre, followed by 9,310 acre in Pune, 9,260 acre in Nagpur, 8,350 acre in Nashik, 5,941 acre in the Konkan and 2,755 acre in Amravati.

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The basic role of the state waqf board, set up in 2002, is to keep an account of the revenue and expenditure of waqf properties and ensure that they are being used for the purpose they were created. The Waqf Act allows leasing out the properties, but has held their transfer or exchange as illegal.

Waqf properties are generally leased out by the respective trusts on nominal rates since decades. To change this practice, the Central government brought in the waqf properties lease rules in 2014 and later amended them in February this year. However, the rules were never implemented in Maharashtra.

The minority affairs department headed by Malik, for the first time, decided to implement the rules for a property at Bhuleshwar which belongs to Rogay Charitable Trust and is being leased out to Indian Oil Corporation. An order to this effect was issued by the minority affairs department on November 11 stating that the tenant will have to pay 2.5% per annum of the market value of the property for a period of 15 years (January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2029).

“With the decision, the trust is now going to get 2.55 lakh per month instead of 2,500 per month that they were getting from the same tenant for decades. It means the trust can generate proper income that can be used for betterment of the backward classes of the community and education of poor children,” the minority affairs minister said.

He said that the rules had not been implemented in the state in the past six years but the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government has now decided to follow them in letter and spirit. “Following the Waqf Act, the trust will have to submit their annual audit report to the state waqf board through which we can monitor that the money is being used for the purpose intended,” Malik said.

“Any trust found involved in irregularities can also be dissolved by the state waqf board,” he added.

According to the rules, “The reserve price per square feet for lease of an immovable waqf property shall — (a) for hospitals, educational institutions and social sectors, be not less than 1% per annum; (b) for commercial activities, be not less than 2.5% per annum; of the market value of the property.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Faisal is with the political team and covers state administration and state politics. He also covers NCP.

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