Non-Goans cannot buy farm land, says Congress draft manifesto
Non-Goans will not be allowed to buy agricultural land in Goa, according to the draft manifesto of the Congress party, a senior party leader said Monday.india Updated: Jan 23, 2012 22:32 IST
Non-Goans will not be allowed to buy agricultural land in Goa, according to the draft manifesto of the Congress party, a senior party leader said Monday.
Speaking to reporters in Panaji, convenor of the Congress party’s election manifesto committee Ramakant Khalap, said the leadership was also discussing the possibility of including a heavy ‘second home’ tax in the manifesto, in order to bring down the rising prices of real estate, which in the recent past have been pushed up by non-Goans investing in readymade flats.
“We are looking to stop the sale of Goan agricultural land to outsiders. Only Goans - any person residing in Goa for over 25 years - will be allowed to buy agricultural land,” Khalap said, adding that the election manifesto was being given final touches by the party leadership.
Khalap also said that the manifesto was also envisioning the imposition of a heavy tax on cultivable land which was being left fallow by the owners, in order to encourage farming.
The former union minister of state for law also said that a heavy tax on unoccupied second homes mooted by the chief minister last year was also being discussed by the party leadership and could find its way into the manifesto.
“We are thinking about it too. The chief minister had announced it, the party leadership is discussing the same thing,” Khalap said.
The second home tax had been mooted by chief minister Digambar Kamat, who had said that real estate prices were being pushed up by heavy investment in flats, which remain unoccupied for most part of the year. Kamat had said in November that occupancy tax slabs would be put in place soon, but had failed to keep his promise.
Mega housing projects, cropping across the countryside have also faced stiff resistance in Goa from civil society groups, who have objected to the fact that the real estate lobby had converted Goa purely into a market for investment-oriented second homes.
Public resentment towards real estate-intensive projects had also forced the Goa government to cancel seven special economic zone (SEZ) projects in 2008, several of which were promoted by real estate companies.