Himachal Alters Land Buying Process To Suit Industry

[lang_en]Shimla: Without relaxing the stringent land laws for buying private land in the hilly state, the government has altered the procedure by making the director industry the nodal officer to oversee justified usage and obtain essential clearances while handing out permissions for purchase of agricultural land for industrial use.

Thakur Gulab Singh, , revenue minister said, the law has not been amended but only procedural changes have been made in which outright sanction is given at the very outset the a new project is cleared by the state government.

To prevent misuse, due precautions are undertaken, he said.

Subhash Negi, principal secretary industries detailed about the procedure changes that are to take place in granting land approval under the state land reforms and tenancy laws.

He said that earlier after and an investment proposal was approved by the states single window clearance authority, the entrepreneur had to obtain various clearances from the grass root functionaries, which did cause much delay in rolling out project.

Now after the project is approved, requisition for the identified land site and the justification for the area required is put before the director industry, said Negi.

After evaluating the requirement, processing the land allotment is handed over to revenue authorities, which saves the businessman the trouble of obtaining all the no-objection certifications needed to set up a unit, he added.

It’s a good move to improve the investment environment, says Sunil Taneja, a Parwanoo based industrialist, but will only bear results if the whole process is cleared in a time frame that is not more than two weeks, otherwise the process is defeated.

He adds, such a step will also help to check land hoarders who had gobbled up large patches of land to the disadvantage of both land owners and industry.

Rakesh Singha state secretary CPI(M) cautioned, “industrialization is a need of the hour but land must be identified for the purpose. As far as possible single crop lands should be used and rights of peasants need to be defended. Industrialization at the cost of pauperization of people must be prevented,” he said.[/lang_en]

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