The Army has held back implementation of land monetisation policy as land prices have come down because of the coronavirus pandemic, Chief of Army Staff Gen MM Naravane said on Tuesday. Addressing a press conference ahead of Army Day on January 15, he said the process to implement the monetisation of land for equal value infrastructure will be taken forward once the situation improves.

Gen Naravane welcomed the government’s land monetisation policy saying it will help the three services in overcoming budgetary constraints. Under the land monetisation framework, government agencies and departments were allowed to use their land holdings to generate revenue or create infrastructure without burdening the state exchequer.

“Lot of progress has been made on monetisation of land. We have got permission to acquire equal value infrastructure for land. Under this policy, we will take forward the monetisation of land,” Gen Naravane said. “Because of the COVID-19 situation, land prices have come down. Because of that we are waiting. We will take it forward when the situation improves. It will be a good thing for three services as we will be able to acquire equal value infrastructure for unused land,” he said.

On the Army’s modernisation plan, he said necessary budgetary support has been received to keep pace with it. “We have also got the necessary budgetary support for the contracts that were signed as part of the acquisition plan,” he said.

“I am also glad to say that more than 80 per cent to 85 per cent of the contracts which are signed are made by Indian companies as part of our efforts to indigenise,” he added.