Waqf properties: Govt to revise lease rules

New Delhi: In the wake of enhanced litigations, protests from tenants, the government is planning to amend the Waqf Properties Lease Rules 2014 in order to implement of regulation of properties.

According to the data, there are as many as 5,74,491 registered waqf properties in the country and about 24,906 cases pending in various courts pertaining to such properties as on October 31, 2018.

In the year 2014, for the first time ever, central rules were made to regulate grant and renewal of leases, fixation of rental on a uniform basis for waqf properties, TOI reports.

In the year 2018, Allahabad HC retired judge Justice Zakiullah Khan has set up a waqf committee to look into the implementation of the new rules.

The report was then submitted to the ministry of minority affairs on Thursday has sought a reduction in reserve price for grant and renewal of rent lease for certain categories.

The lease rules as of now provide for grant or renewal of lease by auction and determination of rental on the basis of 2% to 2.5% of market value based on the circle rates.

The waqf committee in its report proposed the reserve price in case of hospitals, educational institutions and social sector institutions may be reduced from a minimum of 2% to 1%.

While for commercial activities, it recommended the percentage be brought down from a minimum of 2.5% to 1.5% and in case of land for agriculture the reserve price be reduced to a minimum of 1% of the market value.

The committee also found that the income of waqf boards from the properties in Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand have reduced after the implementation of the waqf rules.

Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that a decision for the implementation of the recommendations will taken soon.