BENGALURU: The state government on Monday promulgated the Karnataka Land Reforms (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020, to amend the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961, removing restrictions on non-agriculturists purchasing agriculture lands and doubling the ceiling on land holdings. The cabinet had earlier taken a decision to repeal sections 79-A (prohibition on acquisition of land by certain persons), 79-B (prohibition on holding agricultural land by certain persons), 79-C (penalty for failure to furnish declaration) and Section 80 (transfer to non-agriculturists barred).
The cabinet has also approved to double the ceiling on land holdings from 10 units per family of five to 20 units under Section 63. “Notwithstanding the omission of Sections 79-A, 79-B and 79-C with effect from May 1, 1974, the cases already disposed of before the publication of the Karnataka Land Reforms (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020, shall not in any way be affected. All cases pending on the date of publication of this Act pertaining to the Sections 79-A, 79-B and 79-C and consequential thereof shall stand abated,” the ordinance stated.
Revenue Minister R Ashoka had earlier stated that in the last 45 years, 83,171 cases of contention under 79 A, B, C and Section 80 have been filed, but the government was not able to recover even 1 per cent land. The minister had also stated that restrictions in the Act were used by officials to harass farmers and the amendment will put an end to such harassment, while also help the state attract investment. However, the opposition Congress and many farmer associations had staged protests against the changes in the Land Reforms Act and had accused the government of bringing in the changes “to help big firms”.