Govt. issues guidelines for land conversion

The State government has come out with a set of guidelines for the acquisition and conversion of agricultural land for industrial purposes, to attract investors and provide them with land for industrial projects.

The government issued a circular outlining 10 steps as a simple process for acquisition of farmland for industrial projects under the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961.

Section 109

During the budget session in March, 2020, the government amended Section 109 of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961 for acquisition of farmland for industrial purposes. It granted permission for sale of lands exempted under section 109 of the Act after utilising such land for a period of seven years for the purpose for which it was permitted.

These guidelines came a few days after the government decided to further amend Sections 63 (a), 79 (a), (b) and (c) 80 in the Act, which would enable any non-agriculturalist to buy farmland. It also removed existing ceiling limits to own farmland.

The circular sated that industrialists or companies who want to acquire agricultural land must first upload applications on the Karnataka Udyog Mitra (KUM) website. These will then be sent to Deputy Commissioners of the concerned districts, seeking details of land and fee for land conversion. Within 15 days, the DCs must return the file complete with all details related to the land to KUM. The DCs’ reports would be placed before the land audit committee for detailed examination of the land proposal.

The circular said the approved report of the land audit committee would be placed before the meetings of the State High Level Clearance Committees (SHLCC) chaired by the Chief Minister or the State Single Window Clearance Committee (SSWCC). The clearance of the proposal by SHLCC and SSWCC would be considered as deemed approval of acquisition of farm land for industrial projects.

The government said that the KUM and Kaveri portals would be integrated for convenience of registration of land, stamp and registration fee, date of registration.

On Bhoomi

Later, industrialists have to register acquired land on the Bhoomi website for obtaining mutation certificates. After obtaining rights over these lands, the industrialists/companies have to make online payments with regard to the land conversion fee for KUM. Subsequently, the company or industrialist would be given a digitally signed land conversion certificate, it said.

The rules have been simplified in the background of the government’s decision to hold a Global Investors Meet in Bengaluru.

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