Karnataka's Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa announced that the state will amend the 1961 law that restricted non-farmers from buying agricultural land. The amendment allows non-agriculturalists to acquire farmland, Yediyurappa said that this will promote young people to pursue farming.
Yediyurappa's proposed amendment to the Land Reforms Act has been criticised by the opposition. The amendment to allow non-agriculturalists to acquire farmland has been debated by the opposition as to whether it will allow for misuse.
BS Yediyurappa says the amendment to Land Reforms Act will encourage farming
On Saturday, the BS Yediyurappa Government had decided to amend the Land Reforms Act and repeal sections 63-A, 79-A, B, and C. These impose ceilings on land ownership, restricting non-agriculturalists from acquiring farmland. However, the Karnataka state government is looking to change this.
Section 63-A puts a ceiling on ownership for a five-member family to 10 units. This will now be changed as will allowing non-agriculturalists to acquire agricultural land. The amendment has rustled feathers among the opposition as a move to push realty business.
However, BS Yediyurappa stands by his move. He believes that the purpose of this amendment is much more, he said on Saturday, "It will help farmers get better prices for their land and encourage young people to take up agriculture as a profession." He added that it will encourage them to set up agro-processing units and cold storage facilities as well.
What is the Land Reforms Act all about?
The amendment comes after the government granted permission to industries to buy land directly from farmers without government interference which the opposition didn't approve. Moreover, according to the law, anybody with an income above Rs 25 lakhs will not be considered a father regardless of their family background, before 2015, the cap was Rs 2 lakhs.
The amendment is being brought in, as a way to fight nature of the previous laws, that restricted farmer's children who experienced upward mobility couldn't engage in part-time farming by buying land. The Act also became a cause of creating of land-locking without productive economic activity. Farmers too were unable to fetch a good price for their land with the existing law.
The CM pointed out that the opposition shouldn't oppose a proposed amendment for the sake of opposing it, and should rather try to see the bright side of the proposal. It is yet to be seen where this debate will lead in the next Assembly session.