J&K Government Announces Rules for Land Conversion

Jammu, Jan 15 (IANS): The government of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday announced rules to convert agricultural land into non-agricultural land beyond the already stipulated 400 square meters which was only allowed for residential purposes.

The ease of land conversion is believed to have become essential for the industrial growth of the Union Territory which had been largely hampered by the non-availability of land for industrial purposes.

An official statement said: “The Department of Revenue has framed the Jammu and Kashmir Farmland (Conversion for Non-Farming Purposes) Regulations which allowed landowners to convert farmland for non-farm purposes at- over 400 square meters for residential purposes.

“The relevant district development commissioner will chair the committee which will consider the plea for conversion of farmland to non-farmland and grant permission after recommendations from the committee.

“The committee will have the Assistant Commissioner (Revenue) as its member secretary and will include most of the senior officers from the districts of Public Works (R&B), Irrigation and Flood Control, Power Development, Oversight Committee Pollution (if necessary), Agriculture, Industries and Commerce, District Development Authority, Forestry and any other member(s) co-opted by the President.

“The district level committee will meet every week on a fixed day to consider land use change cases. District Collectors will however be empowered to convene additional meetings to decide on cases.

“The government has listed certain conditions under which permission for land use conversion will be granted. The granting of permission will be subject to the provisions of the Land Revenue Act and Rules of Jammu and Kashmir. Land must not be used for any purpose other than that for which permission is granted.

“If the applicant does not commence the requested non-agricultural use within one year from the order date and up to the maximum period of two years from the first authorization date, the The authorization granted is deemed to have lapsed.The deputy revenue commissioner/district magistrate concerned may take action for any breach of the provisions of the Act.

“For the conversion of agricultural land, the landowner will be charged a fee equivalent to Rs 5 per cent of the market value of the land, as notified therefor under the Stamps Act. If subsequently the land use is changed for purposes other than those for which permission was given, then charges, if any on the incremental market value, will be charged after permission to do so has been granted by the Collector of the district concerned.”

The statement went on to say that the Department of Revenue has set a 30-day deadline for granting clearance.

“If no decision/comment is forwarded within 30 days of receipt of an application that is complete in all respects, the District Collector shall, upon review, grant authority to exercise the powers vested in him and report details with explanatory notes to the tax office The 30 day period shall be counted from the date of resolution of any deficiencies which may be communicated by the district collectors.

“It is the duty of every Agricultural Extension Officer to report violations of these regulations in their respective areas of jurisdiction to the Assistant Commissioner of Revenue, SDM or Tehsildar. Failure to do so will be treated as a breach. to duty on his part and he will be subject to disciplinary action,” he added.

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