By - Aishwarya S on June 16, 2020
Mahatma Gandhi once rightly said, “Agriculture is the backbone of India’s economy”. In other words, the majority of the population was dependent on agriculture. So the government took steps to improve agriculture by introducing modern technology and other necessary measures. However, the growth of the economy was very slow and with the emergence of industrialization to increase the growth, the government had to encourage the establishment of industries.
Many policies were introduced through the five-year plan to further industrialization. But the government soon realized the importance of agriculture and the need to maintain a perfect balance between agriculture and the industrial side of India. In furtherance to the same, various laws were formulated by various state governments with respect to the purchase of agricultural lands. Some of those laws are listed below.
Every state in India has different laws for the purchase of agricultural lands i.e. some states allow the purchase of such lands while some states do not allow the purchase of agricultural lands. The following are the laws which are followed by the South Indian states with respect to the purchase of agricultural lands:
In Karnataka, a non-agriculturist cannot purchase agricultural lands, however, if the person has an annual income of more than INR 25 lakhs(previously Rs. 2 lakhs) can purchase agricultural land. Also, Section 109 of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act 1960 lays down the ceiling limit on the use of agricultural land for the following purposes:
|Purpose||Ceiling limit(previously)||Ceiling limit(present)|
|Industrial Development||20 units||40 units|
|Educational institutions specified by state or central government||4 units||8 units|
|Places of worship specified by the government||1 unit||2 units|
|Housing project approved by the state government||10 units||20 units|
|Horticulture including floriculture and agro-based industries||20 units||40 units|
Further, Deputy Commissioner can grant permission for agricultural lands up to certain units.
|Purpose||Ceiling limit(previously)||Ceiling limit(present)|
|Industrial Development||10 units||20 units|
|Educational institutions specified by state or central government||2 units||4 units|
|Places of worship specified by government||One- fourth of a unit||Half of a unit(2.22 acres)|
|Housing project approved by state government||10 units||20 units|
|Horticulture including floriculture and agro-based industries||10 units||20 units|
Comparatively, there is no restriction in the state of Tamil Nadu for purchasing and selling of agricultural lands, however, there is a ceiling limit on the extent of acquisition of agricultural lands. As a result, there is a limit on acres of land which can be owned and possessed by any person. This also varies for different categories in the following manner:
Family in relation to a person means the person, wife or husband of the person of such person and his or her –
In the case of agricultural land held by a family consisting of 5 members, the ceiling limit is 15 standard acres (previously 30 standard acres). For a family consisting of more than 5 members every additional member can hold upto 5 standard acres. However, there is an overall limit for holding the agricultural land which is 30 standard acres.
If one of the female members in the family or an individual woman is gifted an agricultural land as a stridhan land then such individual or family can additionally own upto 10 standard acres.
Earlier a person was not allowed to own an agricultural land beyond ceiling limits but now as per the amendment in the year 2008 owning an agricultural land beyond ceiling limit is allowed with the permission of government.
Although they are different states, the laws in the state of undivided Andhra Pradesh were adopted in the state of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh except in certain matters. Therefore in case of purchase of agricultural lands both the states are the same and currently there is no amendment.
Even in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, there is a ceiling limit on holding of agricultural land by person which is assessed based on standard holding as specified in the below-mentioned table:
As per the law, a family consisting of five members can own an agricultural land which is equivalent to one standard holding. In case of a family consisting of more than 5 members, every additional member can hold a land equivalent to 1/5th of one standard holding. However, the additional members cannot hold the total extent of land together more than two standard holdings.
In case of an individual who is holding an agricultural land, not as a family property then the ceiling limit is one standard holding.
Although there are no restrictions in the purchase and sale of agricultural land like in the case of Tamil Nadu, there is a ceiling limit on agricultural lands. The following are the ceiling limits on the purchase of agricultural land:
On analysis of the above-mentioned, we notice that almost every state in the southern part of India does not have many restrictions for the purchase and sale of agricultural lands except for the state of Karnataka. However, the intention behind imposing these restrictions is the protection of agriculture and farmers. Although these laws have been enacted, exploitation of farmers and decline in agriculture is something that can not be prevented in spite of taking such stringent measures.
 Karnataka Land Reforms(Amendment) Act 2015
 Tamil Nadu Land Reforms(Fixation of Ceilings on Land) Act 1961
 Tamil Nadu Land Reforms (Fixation of Ceilings) Amendment Act 2008
 Telangana Land Reforms(Ceilings on agricultural holdings) Act 1973
 Andhra Pradesh Land Reforms(Ceilings on agricultural holdings) Act 1973.
 Sec 6 of Kerala Land Reforms Act 1963
Contributed By - Aishwarya S.
Designation - Associate
King Stubb & Kasiva,
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