Despite strong opposition from the Congress party, the Gujarat Tenancy and Agricultural Land Laws Bill 2020 was passed by the BJP-led state government in September 2020.
The changes will make it easier to buy agricultural land for education. The district collector’s non-agricultural certificate is not required to purchase agricultural land to establish educational institutions such as animal husbandry universities, engineering schools, medical schools, agricultural universities or other educational establishments.
The Minister of Revenue Kaushik Patel expressed in writing that thanks to an amendment of the said law, many opportunities for the progress of animal husbandry, agriculture, health and education will be opened in the state.
In the past, non-agricultural establishments had to receive approval from the district collector to purchase such land, which took a long time, resulting in delays.
With an amendment to the tenancy law, in case, that the land was purchased for industrial purposes in good faith, but cannot be used for industrial purposes, it may be sold for purposes other than industrial in accordance with to the provisions of the GDPR.
In such cases, after obtaining the certificate, industries will have to pay one hundred percent of the jantri rate to the government if the land is sold between three and five years of purchase, sixty percent if sold between five and seven years of purchase, thirty percent if it is sold between seven and ten years after the purchase and if it is sold after the expiration of a period of ten years after the purchase, the jantri rate in force will be taken into account.
A joint venture, amalgamation, merger of company or the sale of land that is transferred to its own associate or subsidiary is not considered a transfer. In this case, the transfer will be made on payment of ten percent of the amount of an existing Jantri.
In the case of debt-recovery, auction through the liquidators, the NCLT or the financial institution, the buyers of such land will have to pay a premium of ten percent of the existing cost within sixty days from the date of the auction.
Pares Dhanani, the leader of the opposition, expressed the opinion that in the name of the reforms, the government is trying to help the mafia for grabbing the land of farmers more easily. The previous law allowed the allocation of farmland for educational and medical purposes, but all checks has been discarded.
Pares Dhanani, Leader of the Opposition, further expressed the view that industries have acquired thousands of acres of land. Prior to the changes, the government was required to take back agricultural or public land that was not being used by industries within the reasonable time allowed. The amendment will help industries amass land in large quantities.