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Karnataka opens up agricultural land purchase for all

Karnataka opens up agricultural land purchase for all

Representative image (iStock)

In a big policy move, the Cabinet on Thursday decided to amend the Karnataka Land Reforms Act that will allow anyone to own agricultural land. 

加拿大28信誉老群The Cabinet also decided to tweak the law to increase the cap on how much agricultural land a person can own.  

Thus far, non-agriculturists could not purchase agricultural property. Even those from an agricultural background could not purchase farm land if their annual non-agricultural income exceeded Rs 25 lakh. Also, only educational, religious institutions, companies, cooperative societies among other exceptions could purchase agricultural land. 

加拿大28信誉老群The Cabinet has decided to repeal Sections 79 (a), (b), (c) and 80 from the Land Reforms Act, Law Minister JC Madhuswamy said, briefing reporters. 

"There are many techies, for instance, who have earned well and are keen on investing in agriculture. On one hand, owing to the existing restrictions, many of those interested are unable to buy land. On the other hand, even agriculturists are unable to get the right price for their land. Repealing these sections will ensure a good price for land. It will also make the documentation process simpler," Madhuswamy explained. 

The government will not promulgate an ordinance for this. An amendment Bill will be introduced in the next session of the legislature, he said. 

加拿大28信誉老群The existing provisions worked against the interests of the public, Revenue Minister R Ashoka said. "These restrictions have only enabled people to harass buyers, ending up in litigation. In the last 45 years, about 83,171 cases have been registered for violation of provisions under Sections 79 (a) and (b). About 12,231 cases are still pending in court. Moreover, even in cases where the verdict was in favour of the government, we've not been able to recover more than 1% of the land," he said. 

In addition, deputy commissioners can enable transfer of land to non-agriculturists based on certain specifications. This paved way for misuse and fraud, the government said. Now, even this provision will be repealed.

"Anyone can buy land in Telangana. We want to create the same atmosphere here. This will also help investments," Madhuswamy said, adding that many Indian states had done away with such provisions.  

He further pointed out that ever since Section 109 was inserted into the Act - it deals with investors or industries purchasing agricultural land directly from farmers - the other provisions had become ineffective anyway.  

The Cabinet decided to amend Section 63 of the Act, to increase the ceiling on land holding from 10 units to 20 units for an individual without family or a family up to four people; and from 20 units to 40 units for large families above five people. One unit is 5.4 acres. 

加拿大28信誉老群The Cabinet decision was based on the recommendations of a sub-committee headed by Ashoka. 

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