Real estate news on Maharashtra government mulls legislation to block profiteering from SEZ land sale

Land/plots, Price Trends, SEZ, Mumbai
Posted on May 07, 2015

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government will soon introduce a special legislation to deter companies that have been allotted land under the SEZ Act for industrial activity, but have done nothing so far, from selling the land at a higher price.

Termed 'SEZ Prevention of Land Speculation Bill', which is likely to come into effect in six months' time, will ensure that companies which can't do any 'industrial production or permitted activity' in more than 50% of the SEZ land in two years, will have to return the land to the state government.

The Maharashtra government has decided to use this land for affordable housing, said the state government's draft housing policy, which ET has reviewed. The draft housing policy also points out that most of the 10,000 acres of land that was acquired under the Land Acquisition Act, 1888, has not been used by these developers.

The state housing policy document is extremely unambiguous when it says, "Most of this land was acquired near urban centres and a substantial portion of this land is also situated within the MMR. Most of the developers of these SEZs have not put to use the land as was originally acquired for and the land continues to remain unused and the SEZ developers are squatting on the land in the hope of selling the same as and when the market price improves."

In fact, the state government believes that most of these companies which acquired the land had no intention of doing any activity on the SEZ land.

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