The Karnataka Land Revenue Act of 1964 has long been the cornerstone of land revenue regulation in the state. This comprehensive legislation governs various aspects related to land revenue, including the powers and organization of the Karnataka Revenue Appellate Tribunal, appeal and revision procedures, and the responsibilities of tax officers. However, a critical aspect of land use conversion, particularly the conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes, has seen significant changes in recent years through proposed legislative amendment bills.
The original Section 95(2) of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964, addressed the conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural uses. It required landowners seeking such conversions to submit an affidavit and an application to the Deputy Commissioner. The diversion of land was subject to compliance with the use specified in the Master Plan for the relevant land legally published under the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act, 1961. As a result, the Deputy Commissioner must issue the order of approval within seven days of the day the application was received, and the authorization shall be regarded to have been granted subject to payment of the fine provided under sub-section (7). A grantee of such land under the Act may divert such land or a portion thereof to any other purpose after sending a prior notice in that regard, in the prescribed form, to the Tahsildar.
Expanding Diversion Beyond Local Planning Areas: The proposed provision bill of 2022 (L.A. Bill No. 30) addresses situations where the land in question falls beyond the Local Planning Area, for which the Master Plan has not been published. In such cases, the land occupant can submit an affidavit and an application to the Deputy Commissioner. The Deputy Commissioner must then provide authorization for diversion within fifteen days of receiving the application, based on the opinion of relevant authorities and payment of the specified price. Importantly, if the relevant authorities do not provide their opinion within the stipulated time frame, it is assumed that they agree with the diversion request.
Streamlined Process for Compliant Land Use: The recent proposed bill of 2023 (LA Bill No. 10) to Section 95(2) introduced critical proposed provisions. If the land intended for diversion aligns with the land use as specified in the Master Plan duly published, the permission of the Deputy Commissioner shall not be required under the provisions of the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act, 1961. This amendment simplifies the process for landowners with compliant land use intentions, making it more efficient.
Timely Decision and Certification: In the proposed 2023 bill - To ensure efficiency, the Deputy Commissioner must issue the authorization for diversion within thirty days from the date of receiving the application if he fails to make a decision within that timeframe. This provision aims to expedite the process for landowners and reduce unnecessary delays.
The Karnataka Land Revenue (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (LA Bill No. 10 of 2023) - This is a proposed amendment to the existing Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964. It is a bill that has been introduced in the legislative body for consideration and debate. As of now, it has not become law but represents potential changes that may be incorporated into the existing law if approved through the legislative process.
The recently proposed amendment bill of 2023 to the Karnataka Land Revenue Act, particularly Section 95(2), signifies a positive shift towards streamlining the process of land use conversion from agricultural land to other non-agricultural purposes. By simplifying requirements for landowners with compliant land use intentions and providing clear timelines for decision-making, these changes contribute to a more efficient and transparent system. It is essential for landowners and stakeholders in Karnataka to be aware of these proposed amendments to ensure a smoother process when seeking land use conversions.