The central and state governments in India possess huge tracts of public lands but these lands are largely under-utilized. While analyzing the reasons, critically examine how proper utilization of public lands can help the economy.

Published: September 27, 2017

Being natural, immovable and non-renewable, land is a distinct resource essential for production. India’s public land holdings are one of government’s most significant tangible assets, whether in the hands of central ministries, state governments, or local bodies.  It is observed that significant quantum of land has remained idle and become unproductive in the absence of proper land resource management.
Some of the reasons for underutilization of public lands are

  • No comprehensive inventory on the amount of public land available
  • Absence of publicly available information on public land holdings. 
  • Some part of public lands are occupied by vulnerable sections of the society which makes govt difficult to relocate them

How proper utilization of public lands can help economy?
In a rapidly modernizing and urbanizing society such as India’s, a society that is experiencing pressures from many different directions to invest in public services, human capital and the general welfare, managing public lands represents an opportunity to respond to these urgent needs.
Disposing of surplus land could free up fiscal resources for investments in other much needed public assets such as long-lived infrastructure networks that can bring benefits to society for years to come.
Public lands help to create land banks which in turn helps for industrialisation
Most public sector companies occupy relatively large tracts of land in desirable locations. Parts of this land can be converted into land banks and made into vehicles for promoting the ‘Make in India’ and Smart City campaigns.”

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