Maharashtra government has put on backburner the monetisation or sale of land in possession of its various departments and undertakings. The government has taken a decision to go slow on this front, especially after receiving flak from its ally Shiv Sena as well as the Opposition over the suicide of 84-year-old farmer Dharma Patil. Patil ended his life in the state secretariat consuming poison after due compensation of his acquired land was denied.In a desperate attempt to raise money required to finance a slew of development projects, the government had initiated land monetisation as one of the options.To add to its worries, the government currently faces strong opposition for acquisition of land for various flagship projects including the Rs 45,000-crore Mumbai-Nagpur Super Express Highway, Rs 3 lakh-crore refinery project in Nananj in the Konkan region and the completion of 290 irrigation projects worth Rs 58,000 crore.A state finance department officer told DNA: “It’s the government’s intention to seriously explore monetisation or sale of lease of land in the state to mobilise resources. However, the government will not go for it at this point as the cabinet sub-committee is yet to submit its report. However, the government is weighing other options including debt, bond issue and restructuring of its previous debt at a lower interest rate.”He informed that government is also mulling ways to transfer leased land into free hold to mop up additional revenue by way of selling these plots that are currently registered under the lease Act.The state’s public debt is currently stands at Rs 4.36 lakh crore, which is well within the limit prescribed by the 14th Finance Commission. “There is still headroom available to raise additional loan to meet expenses on development projects,” the officer said.

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Land sale monetisation on hold