The Union Cabinet may consider a proposal to cut land licensing fee (LLF) and longer lease period for railway land on Wednesday, according to sources. The approval of the much-awaited Railway Land Policy amendment will make privatisation of Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) more attractive.
According to the sources, the proposal had been sent three weeks back, hoping to be discussed in the next meeting. Another source said the Cabinet meeting scheduled via video conferencing for Wednesday, although he didn’t disclose the agenda.
The government is planning to reduce the LLF for industrial users of railway land to about two to three percent of the value of land as against 6 per cent now. Extension of the period for railway land lease is also a part of the proposal. One of the options is to increase the land lease period from 5 years to 35 years or more, the source added.
These proposed changes will pave way for the privatisation of CONCOR because it will help strategic buyers pay much lesser amounts as land rentals to Indian Railways for a longer period. This was one of the key suggestions by the investment advisors of CONCOR.
The Union Cabinet in November 2019 had approved the disinvestment of the government’s 30.8 per cent shareholding in the company, along with transfer of management control.