The government on Wednesday passed the West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Bill, 2014, in which the ambit for exemption has been widened.
In addition, the government has also been lenient with industrialists who have plans to sit idle with their land. Earlier, while industriaists were allowed to keep the allotted land unused under Section 14Y for a maximum period of three years, under the new law they will be allowed to keep it for five years.
The Land Reforms Act, 1955 stipulated that no person will be allowed to keep land above 24.7 acres. But under Section 14Y of the same Act exemptions (where land can be allotted in excess of the ceiling of 24 acres) were made in case of setting up of mills, factories, workshop and tea gardens.
A few amendments were made over the subsequent years, during both the Left Front and the Trinamool Congress regimes and the areas of exemption included were livestock breeding farm, poultry farm, dairy, industrial park, or industrial hub or industrial estate etc.
On Wednesday, the areas which were added include fishery, transportation or terminal, logistic hub, township, financial hub, logistic hub, educational and medical institutions, oil and gas products piped transportation, and mining and allied activities.
“The ambit of the bill has been widened in such a way that it seems the state government has removed the land ceiling altogether, a demand being made by some industrialists,’’ Tarun Kanti Nashkar, SUCI MLA said.