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How PM Modi's amended enemy property law left China perplexed

By Deepika
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    Prime Minister Narendra Modi government has left China in a vexed state after the Centre passed an amendment in Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Act.

    Narendra Modi

    The 49-year-old Act now enables the Indian government to auction more than 9,400 properties of people who took up the citizenship of China.

    The Chinese media have reported that the amendment of India's 49-year-old Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Act has renewed concerns over the security of Chinese-owned assets in India.

    "If China and India become involved in a military conflict, the assets of Chinese companies doing business in India may be confiscated by the Indian government," said Economic Times reported quoting an article in state-run Chinese news outlet Global Times.

    "...if the Enemy Property Act sparks alarm among Chinese investors and hinders India's efforts to make itself a sound investment destination, all these other attempts would have been in vain. To rebuild investor confidence, India requires legal reform. Confiscating assets left behind by people who took citizenship of China can easily be viewed by the public as a hostile act against China and damage China's outbound investment toward India," the articles said.

    "In recent years, many Chinese companies, including smartphone maker Xiaomi and computer producer Lenovo, have turned their eyes toward India. In 2016, China's direct investment in India was reportedly several times the level of the previous year. This investment created many jobs for young people in India, which faces an unemployment dilemma. However, increasing investment doesn't necessarily mean that Chinese companies were unaware of the risks involved. Some Chinese people were scared during ..

    This has come after the two countries were involved in a power struggle in the disputed area of Doklam. Although the conflict was later resolved, the dissension is only bound to escalate after the latest amendment.

    At a recent meeting, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was informed that the survey of 6,289 enemy properties has been completed and that of the remaining 2,991 properties which are vested with the custodian will be completed, a home ministry official told PTI.

    Singh directed that those properties which are free from encumbrance should be disposed of quickly for monetisation.

    The estimated value of these 9,400 properties is around Rs 1 lakh crore and when they are sold off, it would be a huge windfall for the government, another official said.
    Among the 126 properties left behind by Chinese nationals, the highest 57 are located in Meghalaya followed by West Bengal with 29. Assam has seven such properties.

    According to the new Act, 'enemy property' refers to any property belonging to, held or managed on behalf of an enemy, an enemy subject or an enemy firm.

    After the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965, the Enemy Property Act was enacted in 1968, which regulates such properties and lists the custodian's powers.

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