The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s notification on revised circle rates for agricultural land has been stayed by Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung’s office.
A communication was sent from the Lt. Governor’s office to the revenue department that had issued the revised rates for circle rates, sources said. The communication stated that the matter was under active scrutiny and to avoid legal complications, the implementation of the notification should be stayed immediately.
“The letter has asked the revenue department to comply with the instructions and said that it should be ensured that the notification was not implemented,” said a senior Delhi government official.
The AAP government had gone ahead and issued revised rates for agricultural land without seeking the nod of the Lt. Governor even though land comes directly under the control of the L-G.
Sources said that the proposal of the AAP government might be turned down by the Lt. Governor as a number of Delhi government departments had also raised objections to its implementation.
Jung had asked for the files related to the circle rates for agricultural land from the AAP government though the Delhi government had justified its stand, stating that there was ‘no need of seeking’ Jung’s approval.
The Arvind Kejriwal government criticised the past practice of elected governments seeking approvals from the L-G ‘on every matter, which led to inordinate delays’ in decision-making. The government accused Jung of regularly raising objections on matters that do not fall under his purview. “It is not possible (to seek L-G’s approval) due to the well laid down constitutional provisions,” said a government spokesperson.
A statement was issued by the Delhi government stating that it had sent the file on the notification later to the Lt. Governor as per the law. On June 25, the Delhi government during the budget session proposed to increase the circle rates of agricultural land to between Rs 1 crore and Rs 3.5 crore per acre.
The current circle rate is Rs 53 lakh per acre which is much lower than the prevalent market rate. A senior Delhi government official said that the increase in circle rates will translate into higher compensation for the farmers on the acquisition of their land.