THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The government has been asked to ensure that the land purchased in advance above the ceiling limit for industrial purposes by individuals and others is made useful to the public, especially for creating new employment opportunities and for enhancing the welfare of the society, according to the Land Board recommendations on amending the Kerala Land Reforms Act.
The Industries Department as well as the Planning Board has proposed to bring in amendments to the KLR Act section 81 for permitting individuals to purchase land beyond the ceiling limit in advance if they desire to run industrial, commercial, educational and charitable institutions. It has also been proposed that the owners who have not used the land once exempted should be allowed to be used for some other purpose.
Though the Land Board has said that the land should be used for creating new employment opportunities, it still has come out with some reservations, stating that it would only dilute the very essence of the land reforms in the state.
It is intended to avoid land ceiling case under section 87 of the KLR Act, the Land Board said.
One of the major recommendations is that there should be a provision not to convert the category of land for which exemption is granted. Moreover, no one should be allowed to buy land that exceeds the ceiling limit from a single person or family. Moreover, the land that has been exempted should not be allowed to be purchased again, as exempted land is already surplus land exceeding the ceiling limit. And this exempted land may not be allowed to convert, transferred or sold.
For ensuring that exempted land is not being purchased, the District Collector should do a proper verification. The proposal for the land with the consent of the Collector should be submitted to the Government only through the State Land Board, which is the custodian of all public land in the state.
In its recommendations, the Land Board has said that the land purchased in excess of ceiling area may be allowed to hold only on lease agreement as that land is surplus land.
The purchaser and the District Collector should ensure that the land going to be purchased is private land within ceiling limit. It has also been said that a time period should be fixed for completing the purchase of the land and final registration. If the institution is not started before the fixed date, the exemption allowed may be cancelled and the land taken over by the government as surplus land, it said.