Karnataka Government to relax rules for purchase of Farmland
On 13th July 2020, Karnataka state government released Land Reforms Ordinance, 2020, revising the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961. Bidding farewell to the decades-old regulations, resulting in opening the sale of farmland within the state to non-agriculturists and removing limits on the purchase. Hereinafter, any Indian individual, business, or educational institution can buy a farmland in Karnataka. This would also transpire in doubling the ceiling on land holdings.
Precedent to this amendment-
- Non-agriculturists (with income from a non-agricultural source of more than INR 25 lakh) could not buy a farmland in Karnataka.
- At several instances, if the annual income exceeded 25 lakhs, buying of agricultural land was prohibited despite being from an agricultural background.
- Prohibitions on the lease and mortgage of agricultural property.
The key highlights of the Land Reforms Ordinance, 2020-
- Increase in the ceiling on land holding : The ordinance revised provision to section 63 and section 63(2), extending the landholding limits from 10 units to 20 units for up to four persons; and from 20 units to 40 units for a larger family with more than five members. One unit here is 5.4 acres.
- Dissolving sections 79A, 79B and 79C : These sections restricted the acquisition of agricultural land in the State by non-agriculturists (with effect from 1st March 1974).
- Amendments to Section 80: Under Section 80, the bar on sale of agricultural land to non-agriculturists has been lifted, and the restriction now applies to the transfer of certain categories of land.
- Protection of land rights for Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe (SC/ST) : Adding a new provision, Section 80-A, specifying that changes to the Act would not impact the land rights given to SC / ST, under the Karnataka Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act, 1978.
- Insertion of Section 109 : It deals with developers or businesses that purchase farmland directly from farmers. The circular notes that companies wishing to buy agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes will have to register on the Karnataka Udyog Mitra (KUM) portal.
This ordinance will help in the liberalisation of farm landholdings to all the people from outside Karnataka. This will help increase investments in the state. Therefore, it had come out to be a profound opportunity for the ones awaiting to buy a Farmland and experience the serenity of nature.
- Madamaiah, Sudheer, et al. The Karnataka Land Reforms (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020: A Brief Note. 24 July 2020, Link.
- Sastry, Shruthi HM. “Karnataka Opens up Agricultural Land Purchase for All.” Deccan Herald, DH News Service, 11 June 2020, Link.