In an important decision, the Administrative Council of Jammu and Kashmir, which met under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, approved regulations developed by the Board of Revenue for the conversion of agricultural land for non-use agrarian.
These regulations were made necessary after legislative changes to the Land Revenue Act.
post-reorganization of the state of yesteryear.
These regulations were issued to regulate the uncontrolled conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes on the one hand and to maintain the development aspirations of the Union Territory (UT) and the population on the other.
Under the new regulations, the district collector was empowered to authorize the change of land use from agricultural to non-agricultural purposes in accordance with the procedure to be notified by the Tax Board.
Authorization must be granted within 30 days of filing the application with a deemed approval provision if no decision is made.
Powers have been delegated to the district collector to grant permission for land up to 12-A standard acre against a royalty of 5 percent of the market value of the land notified under the Stamp Act.
The regulations allow the applicant to begin non-agricultural use on the permitted land within one year from the date of the order issued by the district collector in this regard. However, the land may only be diverted and used for the purposes specified in the authorization.
In addition, the regulations provide for an exemption from applying for a permit in the event of conversion for the construction of residential houses or agricultural and storage buildings with a ceiling of 400 square meters (17 Marla).
The Deputy Commissioner (Revenue), the Sub-Divisional Magistrate and the Tehsildar concerned have been entrusted with the responsibility of monitoring the implementation of these regulations in their respective areas of competence.
In addition, it will be the duty of every agricultural extension officer to report cases of violation to tax officials and any negligence in this regard may result in disciplinary action for dereliction of duty.
The decision aims to ensure the production of a sufficient quantity of food grains, in addition to promoting the orderly growth of the industrial and service sector in the UT and the creation of jobs.
With this decision, UT will be on par with the major states in the country in allowing the conversion of agricultural land and reducing the compliance burden under the trade reform action plan (ease of doing business ) in an investor-friendly ecosystem.