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Sindhi refugees in M’rashtra to get property ownership rights

Giving house keys

Mumbai :  Maharashtra Government has decided to grant property ownership rights to the Sindhi refugees who migrated from Pakistan after Partition and settled in Mumbai and other parts of the State.

Minister for Revenue Eknath Khadse today said the ownership rights will be transferred to the Sindhi community members who had occupied land or property between 1947-50.

“The owners will have to pay one-time amount, which will be 50 per cent of the Ready Recknor (RR) rates. Besides this, the owners will not have to seek approval of the District Collector for future sale or resale of their properties,” Khadse said.

RR is a guide published by the State, which determines the rate of properties in a particular area on which stamp duty and registration charges are levied.

Through this measure, the Government hopes to mop up an additional revenue of about Rs 1,500 crore, Khadse said.

“In respect of properties left behind by those who migrated to Pakistan, the Government has appointed the Charity Commissioner as caretaker of these properties. These properties include Jinnah House in Malabar Hill,” he said.

As per Government records of January 1973, there are 30 settlements of Sindhi refugees in Maharashtra. Of these, five are in Mumbai and two in adjoining Thane, he said.

Such settlements are also located in Dhule, Jalgaon, Pune, Ahmednagar, Kolhapur, Amravati, Akola, Washim, Yavatmal and Nagpur districts, Khadse said.

Even after six decades, the Sindhi refugees from West Pakistan do not own land on which they were allowed to settle by the then Government, the Revenue Minister said.

“Many of these properties had no claimants. These properties are now categorised as `B class’ lands wherein their ownership still lies with the Government. The Government will upgrade the category to `A class’ whereby the owners will get ownership of their land/properties after paying one time amount (50% of Ready Recknor rates).”

Khadse said the Government carried out a pilot project in Jalgaon and Dhule districts for transfer of ownership rights and its results were encouraging.

“After the transfer of rights, the owners will not have to come back to the District Collector to seek fresh approval for sale or resale of their properties. Also, they will not have to once again pay 50 per cent amount as per Ready Recknor rates for every transaction,” he said.

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