March 7, 2021 3:52:24 am
In the two calendar years between 2019 and 2020, the Gujarat government earned a phenomenal Rs 2,054 crore by permitting agricultural land to be used for non-agricultural (NA) purposes, the state legislature was informed on Saturday. This amount was earned as premium for providing non-agricultural or NA permissions in the state during this period.
During this two-year period, the government received 56,566 applications from agricultural land owners seeking permission to convert the status of their land, the government said in written replies provided to various questions on the same subject asked by different MLAs. The maximum applications have been recorded in Ahmedabad (9075 applications), Gandhinagar (6891) and Surat (5360).
In the past two years, over 30.28 crore square metres of land has been converted to non-agricultural by giving the requisite permission. Revenue minister Kaushik Patel, while speaking on the issue of non-agricultural permissions during the Question Hour, said, “A lot of applications come seeking non-agricultural permission. These are for industries, commercial units, residential, etc.” He said NA premium was one of the sources of revenues for the state government.
“A lot of corruption used to happen in giving this permission. A lot of time also used to pass (in getting the permission). Projects used to get delayed or cancelled. CM Vijay Rupani found a way out of this. From 2018, we began giving online NA permissions in Gujarat,” Patel added.
Patel said that earlier the power to give this permission was with panchayats and district collectors. “In one stroke, chief minister issued a notification taking away the powers of the panchayat in this regard. The age old practices involving corruption and delay ended,” the revenue minister said adding that this step has helped in the development of Gujarat.
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