K. Udaykumar Shetty, president of district unit of the BJP, said on Saturday that the State government should simplify rules related to the purchase and sale of land coming under the jurisdiction of Gram Panchayats in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts.

Addressing presspersons, Mr. Shetty said land holdings in both the districts were small and people had to go through a lot of hardship while buying and selling plots of land because of the insistence of Forms 9 and 11 of Karnataka Panchayat Raj Rules by the Panchayat Development Officers (PDOs) in rural areas.

Government rules had made a layout compulsory for all plots of land. This layout had to be procured from the Town and Country Planning Authority. When the Gram Panchayats did not come under the jurisdiction of the Authority, it was difficult to get the layout from the latter.

Hence, the purchase and sale of land was coming to a standstill in rural areas, affecting farmers in a big way. Even land conversion had become a cumbersome process as the revenue officials kept citing various rules, regulations, and norms. Besides, the Gram Panchayats did not have all the records of land conversions.

When the BJP government was in power, it had issued orders nullifying the need for Forms 9 and 11. But before the orders could come into effect, the elections to the State Assembly were announced.Urban Development Minister Vinay Kumar Sorake recently promised to nullify the need for Forms 9 and 11 of the Panchayat Raj Rules (Taxes and Fees). But so far, he had not taken any action on it.

Mr. Shetty said they will launch an agitation if the State does not take action within 15 days.

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