India’s government said it will sell stocks worth millions of dollars seized from people who moved to Pakistan following partition in 1947 and the wars since, as a way to make up for a shortfall in revenues.
The stocks worth at least 30 billion Indian rupees ($412.26m) are part of what the Indian government calls “enemy properties” that once belonged to people who went to Pakistan and China, with which India also fought a war.
Once these former Indian nationals became citizens of these two countries, they were treated as “enemies” and their assets in India including land and houses as well as shares were seized and held by the Custodian of Enemy Property of India.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has been tightening the provisions of the Enemy Property Act 1968 to include even lawful heirs who stayed behind and were Indian citizens.
Modi’s cabinet on Thursday approved a plan to sell stocks in 996 companies held by 20,323 shareholders, deemed as “enemy shares” the government said in a statement. The government said 588 were active firms including 139 listed on the stock exchange.“The decision will lead to monetization of enemy shares that had been lying dormant for decades since coming into force (of) the Enemy Property Act in 1968,” it said.