New Delhi:  Clearing bottlenecks in transfer of Government land, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday approved relaxations in the land transfer policy, which would also remove any delays in awarding concessions for infrastructure projects.
     
The decision to relax the ban imposed on all transfer of government owned land for certain categories would speed up the award of PPP projects from this month onwards significantly, a PMO statement said.
      
Early last year, a ban had been imposed on all transfer of government owned land to any entity except in cases where land was to be transferred from one government department to another.
       
The Department of Economic Affairs was to prepare a comprehensive land transfer policy for government owned land. In case any department had to implement a project which required alienation of land either through lease, license or rent, it had to seek specific approval of the Cabinet.
     
This was leading to long delays in awarding concessions for infrastructure projects, particularly public–private partnership (PPP) projects.
     
With Thursday's decision, all cases of land transfer from Ministries to statutory authorities or PSUs will be allowed as also development and use of railway land by the Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA).
     
All PPP infrastructure projects - roads, railways, ports, civil aviation and metros - have some element of land alienation as the projects are often built on government owned land.
     
The government continues to own the land which is leased or licensed out. Requiring Cabinet approval for each PPP project means adding a few more months to complete the process for securing Cabinet approval.

(Agencies)

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