Tamil Nadu

Industrial units can now buy land irrespective of violation by seller

In a significant policy decision aimed at boosting industrial growth, the Tamil Nadu government has said that industrial units can now possess lands, irrespective of any violation of provisions of the Tamil Nadu Land Reforms (Fixation of Ceiling on Land) Act, 1961, by the seller/vendor in the transaction.

The State government also issued a notification that sought to double the ceiling area for an industrial or commercial undertaking, from 15 standard acres to 30 standard acres of dry land (punjai), giving effect to an amended legislation adopted in the Assembly in July 2018.

A senior bureaucrat said: “With this decision, one can hold up to 120 acres of dry land [the highest conversion of a standard acre being equivalent to four acres] without permission. It is 60 acres in case of wetland.”

Earlier, the buyer could not possess the land even if industrial units had bought the lands, unaware that the seller had violated the provisions of the T.N. Land Reforms (Fixation of Ceiling on Land) Act, 1961 [seller-attracted issues].

“Even now, the government can reject such applications made under Section 37-A of the Act. But now, there is a chance for applying, which was not the case earlier,” an IAS officer said.

Boosting business

The State government has since directed the Commissioner of Land Reforms to send proposals in accordance with the decision taken over granting permission, under Section 37-A of the Act.

As per the Act, industrial units cannot possess lands beyond a slab, and it was increased a couple of years ago, he said. If a party owned lands beyond the slab, they had to declare it to the government, under the Act. If the excess lands were sold wholly, or in parts, to another party, the transaction would not be allowed.

“This decision will boost the business environment in the State,” the officer said.

Another official in the Revenue Department said the Tamil Nadu government’s decision followed high-level deliberations on the issue and consideration of opinions from the Advocate General in this regard. He, however, clarified: “If the authorised officer has already taken steps to recover the lands to the government, this will not apply. This will only apply to lands pending action by the government.”

So far, the Industrial Exemption Committee had not recommended the grant of permission in case of ‘seller-attracted issue’ lands, and representatives of the Industries Department were of the view that Section 20 of the Land Reforms Act should not be enforced on industrial units, when its seller held land beyond the ceiling limit, but no declaration had been made by the authorised officer for the said land. The issue was discussed in detail during a meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary in March.

The G.O. can be accessed on The Hindu portal at http://bit.ly/TNGOIndustry

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 8:28:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/industrial-units-can-now-buy-land-irrespective-of-violation-by-seller/article32999666.ece

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