Skip to main content

Land ceiling bill meant to "help" industrialists set up shop, easily sell land: Internal Gujarat govt note

By Rajiv Shah
An internal Gujarat government note, prepared by the state revenue department and in possession of Counterview, has admitted that the recent amendments to the state’s land various ceiling Acts are meant to “enable the industrialist to speedily establish industry”, in such a way that the industrialist could “purchase” the land for industrial purpose “without prior permission of the district collector.”
In order to do this, it said, it has amended Section 63 AA of Mumbai Tenancy Administration and Agriculture Land Act, 1948; Section 55 of Saurashtra Gharkhed, Tenancy Administration and Agriculture Land Act, 1949; and Section 89-A of Mumbai Tenancy Administration and Agriculture Land (Vidarbh Pradesh and Kutch region), 1958.
The amendments await President Pranab Kumar Mukherjee’s nod before they could become legal entities. The Gujarat governor refused to sign the amendments, and instead sent them to the Government of India for approval, as they invited wide-scale criticism of favouring industry at the cost of farmers.
The internal note says, “According to the prevailing provisions, a certificate is given by the collector to the purchaser of the agriculture land for industrial purpose”, and “the industrial activity has to be started within three years and production of goods /providing services has to be done within five years.”
Pointing towards the current hassle, the note says, “The government, after having considered the price paid for the purchase of the land, would pay compensation and enter the land of such industry in the government account and can dispose the land” if there is a “failure in starting the industrial activity within three years and production of the goods/providing services within five years.”
Giving reasons why “legal amendments” had become necessary, the note says, currently, “bona fide industrialists are facing difficulties/hardships due to the less time period limitation to start the industry.” And, “due to the changing circumstances and not starting the industry timely, the industrialist cannot sell such purchased private lands and, thus, despite of the circumstances beyond control, they cannot sell the land and end up with economic crises.”
Secondly, according to the note, “There is also no clear provision for the industrial park”, nor is there any “clear provision that the after having purchased the land for the industrial park, the land is developed and can be sold to other industrial units. Thus, it was found, is a necessity to make provision in the law for industrial park.”
In order to avoid these difficulties, the note says, “If the purchaser of the land wishes, he can give an equity/part in the proportion of the cost of the land to the farmer selling the land. This is just an enabling provision, vide which an opportunity of mutual partnership is created between the industrialist and the farmer and this would create ‘win-win’ situation for both which would provide the motivational force in the industrial development of the state.”
Then, the note states, a new provision of starting industrial activity under which the “time limit of starting production or providing services be totally five years, and on the basis of the application of the industrialist, such time period can be further extended for the period for two years (one year at a time) without charging any amount.”
But if, during this period, which totals “seven years, including the extension period”, the industry is not started, “a provision is made to extend such time limit for the period of three years by charging 50 per cent of the amount of jantri.” Jantri is the government assessment of the value of land, revised periodically, and is generally very low compared to the market rate.
Further, says the note, “If the industrialist cannot start the production/provide services for whatever reasons, he can sell such self-purchased land for industrial purpose. Interestingly, this can be done “after three years”, on payment of an amount to the state government – 40 per cent of the jantri between three to five years, 60 per cent of the jantri between five and seven years, and 100 per cent of the jantri for more than seven years.
Coming to the need for industrial parks, which are being developed in Gujarat “in order to make the industrial development of the state”, the note says, the existing laws do not allow the promoter to “sell the plots of such industrial park to another industrialist”, hence the government's “goal of development of such industrial parks, is not fulfilled.”
Under the new provisions, the note says, “The lands purchased for the purpose of industrial park could be sold to other industrial units.” Of course, the developer has to create “infrastructure facilities subject to the terms and conditions decided by the Industrial Commissioner” within three years after the purchase of the land, but if he “fails to fulfill the conditions, “the government could take over the land after paying the compensation as decided by the government.”

Comments

TRENDING

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

"Misleading" satellite images being shared on Balakot surgical strike on Jaish camp

By Dr Vinay Kate*
With every passing day more questions are being raised about the surgical strike India did in Balakot as a response to Pulwama attacks. So far the Indian media has claimed mass casulaty of 300+ terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad in this surgical strike, but there is hardly any report from foreign media about the same.

Extreme repression, corporate loot, cultural genocide "characterise" India's tribal belt

Counterview Desk
As Lok Sabha polls approach, there is considerable ferment in one section of the population -- India's Adivasis, forming about 8.6 per cent of India's population. Things became particularly critical following the February 14, 2019 Supreme Court order, allegedly seeking to evict lakhs of tribals from their forest lands.

Industry in India "barely growing", export growth 0%, whither moral anchors?

Counterview Desk
In a sharp critique of the Modi government, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), one of world renowned economist Prof Kaushik Basu, who is Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, has told students at the IIM-A’s 54th Annual Convocation on March 16, 2019 that they have a “special responsibility” on their shoulders, “the responsibility to reject narrow sectarianism, uphold scientific thinking, openness to new ideas, and freedom of speech.”

Gujarat model? Industrial effluents "invade" borewells, discharge coloured water in farms

By Rajiv Shah
In a major embarrassment for Gujarat model, of the 21 samples taken by officials of the state government's environmental watchdog Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in two villages of Vadodara district and analyzed by its laboratory in Gandhinagar, the state capital, to find out pollution level in groundwater, 16 were assessed as highly contaminated – these were, in fact, found to be discharging reddish, brownish, reddish, or yellowish water.

Refugees as criminals? US govt report blames Amit Shah for calling Bangladeshis termites

Counterview Desk
The chapter “Freedom of Movement” of the US State Department’s “India 2018 Human Rights Report”, released recently, has criticized BJP chief Amit Shah for terming alleged Bangladeshis who may be in Assam as “termites”, because their names were struck down from the list of National Register of Citizens, under preparation in the state.
Pointing out that four million residents were excluded from Assam’s final draft list, leading to “uncertainty over the status of these individuals, many of whose families had lived in the state for several generations”, the report regrets, the Indian law does not even contain the term “refugee,” treating refugees like Rohingiyas as “any other foreigners.”
“Undocumented physical presence in the country is a criminal offense. Persons without documentation were vulnerable to forced returns and abuse”, the report says.
Text of the Freedom of Movement chapter: The law provides for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, a…

Congress would win just 9 of 26 Lok Sabha seats: Gujarat Assembly segment-wise analysis

By Rajiv Shah
Even as the Congress plans its first working committee meet in Gujarat on February 28 after an almost 58 year gap, there is reason to wonder what is in store for India’s grand old party in a state which has been long been a BJP bastion – in fact ever since mid-1990s. Ahead of the then assembly polls in late 2012, talking with me, a senior Gujarat Congress leader, currently Rajya Sabha MP, frankly said he saw no reason why Congress would win.

"Pro-corporate" Supreme Court order on FRA would further marginalize Adivasis

By VS Roy David, JP Raju*
For millions of Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers February 13, 2019 will go down in history as the day of apocalypse. This is like the proverbial Black Friday where millions of most marginalized people of India were ordered by malicious anti-people draconian Supreme Court order depriving them the life and livelihood by evicting them from their habitats.

Financial inclusion? Not micro-loans; India's poor "need" investment in health, education

By Moin Qazi*
India has grown into a global powerhouse. Its economy is soaring but the picture on the ground is still quite arid. The green shoots that you see are only a patch of its landscape. Most Indians are hapless victims of inequity. India is one country where intense poverty abounds in the shadow of immense wealth.

India, Pakistan told to eliminate nuclear weapons: N-war "would kill" 2 billion

Counterview Desk
The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), a non-partisan federation of national medical organizations in 64 countries, representing tens of thousands of doctors, medical students, other health workers, and concerned citizens, claiming to share the common goal of creating a more peaceful and secure world freed from the threat of nuclear annihilation, has warned that “an unprecedented global catastrophe” awaits the globe against the backdrop of warmongering in India and Pakistan.