The Assembly on Thursday passed two key bills to help facilitate rapid industrialisation and urbanisation in Gujarat.
While the Gujarat Agricultural Land Ceiling (Amendment) Bill, 2015, proposes use of surplus farm land for industrial purpose, the Gujarat Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2015, promises equity shares to those who sell their land to companies for industrial development.
Both bills were passed by majority after Speaker Ganpat Vasva suspended all Congress MLAs, barring Leader of the Opposition Shankarsinh Vaghela, from the House for creating ruckus.
The Gujarat Agricultural Land Celing (Amendment) Bill proposes to enable the government to provide its surplus agricultural land for industrial purpose to industrial houses and for public use related to urbanisation to urban local bodies. Currently, the government could allot the surplus farm land only for agricultural use.
“However, with the rapid industrialisation and urbanisation which has taken place in the State of Gujarat in the recent years, the need for allotment of such land, besides the purposes for which the surplus land can be allotted at present, for the industrial purpose as also for the purpose of development thereof or for any public purpose can hardly be overlooked,” says the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill.
The Bill also proposes, “…whenever the land is allotted to any person, he shall be required to make available equivalent quantum of agricultural land in lieu of the land to be allotted to him and such land shall be deemed to have been vested in the State Government.”
“When the land is allotted to any urban local body, such local body shall further allot such land in the manner and subject to such conditions as prescribed by the rules,” it adds.
The other bill, the Gujarat Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2015, proposes to amend the Gujarat Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948, the Saurashtra Gharkhed Tenancy Settlement and Agricultural Lands Ordinance, 1949, and the Gujarat Tenancy and Agricultural Lands (Vidarbha Region and Kutch Area) Act, 1958.
Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill justifies its need to make procedural parts of these decades old laws simple and to mitigate undue hardship that people have to suffer.
According to the Bill, “Where the land is sold for a bona fide industrial purpose, the purchaser of such land, if it is a company may offer the equity shares of such company in lieu of sale price of such land to the person by whom such land is being sold…”
The Bill also proposes to increase the time limit for commencing production by the company that purchased the land from five years to seven years; and the seven-year period can be further extended for three years on payment of 50 per cent of Jantri rate for the delay.
The Bill, according to the government, seeks to amend the three laws to enable an industrial house that has purchased land from a farmer to set up an industrial park to further sell it to some other small and medium industrial park developer.
Local authorities bill too gets nod
Ahmedabad: The Assembly on Thursday also passed the Gujarat Local Authorities Laws (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015, and the Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Duty (Amendment ) bill, 2015. The local authorities bill replaces an ordinance promulgated on July 24, 2015, on compulsory voting and reserving 50 per cent seats in local bodies for women. The bill proposes to disqualify councillors or corporators, if they failed to vote.