Haryana relaxes law on land ceiling
Coming to the rescue of real estate developers, the Council of Ministers in Haryana on Wednesday approved the draft of an ordinance to amend Haryana Ceiling on Land Holding Act, 1972, exempting land put to or proposed to be put to agricultural use from provisions of the ceiling law.chandigarh Updated: Jul 27, 2011 21:56 IST
Coming to the rescue of real estate developers, the Council of Ministers in Haryana on Wednesday approved the draft of an ordinance to amend Haryana Ceiling on Land Holding Act, 1972, exempting land put to or proposed to be put to agricultural use from provisions of the ceiling law.
The move is a direct consequence of the stern view taken by Punjab and Haryana high court regarding violations of the land ceiling law by developers. The high court had slammed the developers for floating subsidiary companies to aggregate land and circumvent the law. Under the Act, the permissible area allowed for an individual to possess ranges between about 18.12 acres and 54.5 acres, whereas real-estate developers were having in possession thousands of acres.
Chief minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda however justified the decision to exempt non-agricultural use land from ceiling laws saying this wad done to avoid legal complications arising for infrastructure projects.
"Companies would have to take large chunks of land for power projects etc. The amendment is aimed at removing complication arising out of the existing law," he told journalists at a post cabinet press conference.
The Cabinet approved that Section 5 of the Act which provides for non-applicability of the Act to certain lands will be amended. An amendment bill to this effect will be later brought in the state assembly.
At present, the Act provides exemption from ceiling to land owned by or vested in state/central government, municipal committee, Cantonment Board, gram panchayat, the National Dairy Research Institute (Karnal) or such organisation under the administrative control of state/central government as the state government may by notification specify.
The exemption also applies to land belonging to registered cooperative societies formed for the purposes of cooperative farming; land belonging to primary agricultural cooperative credit societies; land mortgage banks; state and central cooperative banks; land leased by the Haryana State Cooperative Land Mortgage Bank Limited, established under the Punjab Cooperative Land Mortgage Bank Act, 1957; land owned by Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar; Kurukshetra University; or other such university as the state government may by notification declare; and land owned by the Haryana Bhudan Yagan Board, established under the Punjab Bhudan Yagna Act, 1955.
An official spokesman said that the amendment was necessitated as the state has witnessed urbanization and industrialization at a fast pace in the last few decades. “The government has also revised its Industrial and Investment Policy and introduced a number of incentives to attract investments. Such initiatives necessitate acquisition of land by private persons in excess of ceiling laws,’’ the spokesman said.
He said that land in excess of the prescribed limits under the land ceiling law has been utilized in the past and is further needed for non-agricultural projects like housing, industrial and infrastructure projects including Special Economic Zones (SEZs), tourism units and public utilities which are necessary from the economic point development.