December 8, 2015 9:34:59 pm
In an attempt to make farmers co-partners in the process of industrialisation happening in Gujarat, the state government Tuesday announced an “equity model” of land acquisition among various other measures.
“Certain amendments have been brought into the Gujarat Tenancy Act which will enable farmers to become equity partners in the industries that are set up on their land,” said K Srinivas, Principal Secretary, Revenue department, while talking about the new reforms introduced by the Anandi Patel government.
Under this new amendment which The Indian Express had reported in May this year, farmers in Gujarat can now seek full or partial cost of their land as equity from the industries to whom the land is sold. “This provides an opportunity to both farmers and industrialists to be co-partners,” the official added.
The state government has also introduced a penalty (three times the jantri rates) if any instance of non-agriculturalists or institutions buying agricultural land in the state comes to light.
In some instances, farmers purchase farm lands but they face difficulty in taking possession as a non-farmer was involved in previous deals. According to the new amendment, “regardless of the transactions made in favour of non-farmers on or before June 30, 2015, the last transaction of the farmer will be considered valid after collecting 10 percent of the jantri from the current farm owner and if the proceedings of breach of condition initiated against the buyer, then the whole process has to be dropped.”
The move to appease land-holding farmers comes after BJP recently lost a number of seats in the rural parts of the state in the recently held taluka and district panchayat elections.
“Industrialists, especially those in the MSME sector, who want to set up industries and have not been able to finish it in the stipulated 3-5 year period, we have given them some extra time,” Srinivas said.
As per the new amendments, industries will get about seven years to commission a project from the existing five years and those who are not able to start within this period can seek a three-year extension by paying 50 percent of the prevailing jantri rates.
Industrialists who wish to exit can sell or transfer the private land in their possession by paying 40 percent of the jantri in the first 3-5 year period, 60 percent in 5-7 year period and 100 percent of the jantri after seven years.
In order to provide a boost to industrial parks in the state, the state government has also allowed developers of industrial parks to sell privately acquire land to small and big industries.
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