It will study suggestions given by HC, SC and frame a policy

The State Cabinet on Thursday decided to constitute a sub-committee to study the issue of grating title deeds to cultivable government land located on the outskirts of Bangalore city and other urban local bodies (ULB).

According to sources in the government, a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah decided on this course of action following suggestions from Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T.B. Jayachandra.

For several years now, people have been cultivating land belonging to the government and they are located outside the limits of the BBMP and ULB. As per the rule, only government land outside the 18-km radius of Bangalore city and a 5-km radius of other urban local bodies would be regularised by issuing title deeds to farmers.

There are genuine land cultivators as well as bogus landowners. The panel will study the suggestions given by the Karnataka High Court and Supreme Court on the issue and frame a policy, official sources said.

This issue had come up before the High Court of Karnataka and the court had questioned the yardstick adopted by the government for regularising land being cultivated by farmers and other people.

In the absence of the policy, the government was unable to regularise land. There was no provision to pay ex-gratia to the existing landholders, sources said.

Many people have been in possession of land for ages. For example, around 4,800 acres of land come under this category in Sira town of Tumkur district and the government was not in a position to do anything.

The Cabinet decided to set up the committee to study this issue in detail (under Sec. 94 (a) grant of land) and then present it before the High Court for necessary action.

“The government will implement whatever directions the court gives,” sources said.

Other decisions

The Cabinet has also decided to constitute a Cabinet sub-committee to formulate a policy on agricultural marketing. The proposed policy aims at bringing reforms to functioning of agricultural produce marketing committees (APMCs) such as transparency, issuance of trade licences and making available information rates on commodities through Internet.

Already, the Centre has formulated the policy in this direction. Based on the Centre’s policy, the government will frame the State policy, sources said.

The Cabinet also gave its approval to Karnataka State Sugarcane Regulation, Supplying and Purchase Bill, which was passed in the Belgaum session.

It has taken a decision to dismiss from service Ramakrishna, Undersecretary, Department of IT/BT, on charges of corruption.

The Cabinet decided to give one year extension to N.S. Neginahal and Suresh Turamuri, retired district judges, who are working in the Karnataka Lokayukta.

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