Amid Oppn. walkout, Assembly nod for land reforms amendment Bill

Amid a walkout by the Opposition Congress and JD(S), the Legislative Assembly on Thursday passed the Karnataka Land Reforms (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

The Bill aims to amend Section 109 of the 1961 Act pertaining to the purchase of agricultural land from farmers by investors who want to set up industries, educational institutions or other units. It also grants permission for the sale of lands exempted under Section 109 after utilising them for seven years for the purpose permitted.

Revenue Minister R. Ashok and Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J.C. Madhuswamy defended the Bill by saying that it was not against the spirit of land reforms. They argued that any investor who purchases land can resell it after seven years only for the purpose it was purchased for originally. For instance, if an industrialist purchases land from a farmer, it can be resold after seven years only for establishing an industrial unit.

Congress members R.V. Deshpande, K.R. Ramesh Kumar, Dinesh Gundu Rao, Amaregouda Bayyapur, Ramalinga Reddy, and Bandeppa Kashempur, H.D. Revanna (JD-S) opposed the Bill and termed it “anti-farmer” and that it promotes only real estate. Mr. Ramesh Kumar said it would enable “fake” industrialists to buy lands from farmers. Countering this, Mr. Madhuswamy said the Siddaramaiah government in 2014 had permitted change of land use by amending Section 109.

Many investors purchase lands at cheap rates to start industries and later convert the plot into real-estate business, Opposition members claimed. Not convinced by the replies given by the Ministers, the Opposition Congress and JD(S) staged a walked out from the House opposing the Bill.

The Bill provides for deemed exemption to purchase land for industrial purpose to the extent approved by the State High Level Clearance Committee (SHLCC) or the State Single Window Clearance Committee under the Karnataka Industrial (Facilitation) Act, 2002.

The Bill replaced the Ordinance promulgated on November 20, 2019. After SHLCC, the CM under his chairmanship clears investment projects. In case the land acquisition is delayed after the SHLCC’s approval, then the process for land acquisition is considered “deemed approval”.

The Bill was tabled in the background of the government’s decision to hold a Global Investors’ Meet in Bengaluru in November.

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Printable version | Aug 6, 2021 2:28:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/amid-oppn-walkout-assembly-nod-for-land-reforms-amendment-bill/article31111759.ece

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