JAMMU, DECEMBER 16: Jammu and Kashmir government has approved the and use from agricultural to non-agricultural purposes.
The decision was taken in a meeting of the Administrative Council (AC), which was chaired by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.
An official spokesman said the AC approved the regulations framed by the Board of Revenue for conversion of agricultural land to non-agricultural purposes. These regulations were necessitated after the legislative changes in the land revenue act post-reorganization of the erstwhile state.
Farooq Khan and Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisors to the Lieutenant Governor, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, and Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to Lieutenant Governor attended the meeting.
These regulations have been issued to regulate the uncontrolled conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes on the one hand and keep the developmental aspirations of the UT and the people on the other hand.
Under the new regulations, the District Collector has been empowered to grant permission to the change in land use from agricultural to non-agricultural purposes in accordance with the procedure as to be notified by the Board of Revenue. The permission is to be granted within 30 days of the filing of the application with a provision of deemed approval if no decisions are taken.
The powers have been delegated to the District Collector to grant permission for land up to 12 ½ standard acres against a fee of 5 percent of the market value of the land notified under the Stamps Act.
The regulations empower the applicant to commence the non-agriculture use on the permitted land within one year from the date of the order issued by the District Collector on this behalf. However, the land can be diverted and used only for the purpose specified in the permission.
Moreover, the regulations provide an exemption from seeking permission in cases of conversion for construction of residential houses or farm-related buildings and storage with a ceiling of 400 Sq. meters (17 Marla).
Assistant Commissioner (Revenue), Sub-Divisional Magistrate and Tehsildar concerned have been entrusted with the responsibility of monitoring the implementation of these regulations within their respective areas of jurisdiction. Besides, it will be the duty of every Agriculture Extension Officer to report cases of violation to the revenue officers and any neglect on this account can attract disciplinary action for dereliction of duty.
The decision is aimed at ensuring the production of a sufficient quantity of food grains, besides promoting orderly growth of industrial and services sector in this Union territory and the creation of employment.
By this, the UT will be at par with the leading States of the country in allowing the conversion and reducing compliance burden under the Business Reforms Action Plan (Ease of Doing Business) in an investor-friendly eco-system.