Himachal cabinet for overhauling state land laws

Shimla: The Himachal cabinet on today decided to amend the state land rules, amends the revenue act for speedier settlement of cases, repeal an act that was coming in the way of land transactions and decided to increase the ambit of land ceiling act by extending it to IT & BT parks, tourism units, religious organisations and those involved in education and sports sector.

With the High Court having questioned the basis of granting permission under section 118 of land to non-agriculturists in the state, the cabinet which met with chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal in the chair approved Amendments in Rule 38-A(a)(2) of the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reform Rules, 1975.

A cabinet spokesman said that it was done to bring in guidelines for ensuring that only eligible persons acquire land within strict limits and after due diligence so as to ensure it is used for the concerned purpose, plug loopholes resulting in excessive revenue loss, and curtail discretion.

The amendment would also ensure that persons living in the state from generations do not face problems in securing permissions for acquiring land for a dwelling unit or a shop.

These amended rules would provide relief to residents and outsiders, by clarifying where permissions can be granted and where they would be refused, the spokesman said.

The cabinet proposed to amend the HP Ceiling of Land Holding Act, 1972 and increase its ambit of activities by extending exemption from ceiling limit to IT Parks, BT Parks, Tourism Units, religious or spiritual organisations and bodies or organizations active in the sphere of education and sports.

The cabinet decided to repeal the HP Pre-Emption Act, 2010, as it was attracting widespread criticism for holding up transactions relating to sale of land.

To facilitate speedier disposal of revenue cases the cabinet decided to amend the HP Land Revenue Act, 1954.

The cabinet also allotted Rs 83 lakhs to the police department for installing CCTV systems and improving traffic systems.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

Join the Conversation

2 Comments

  1. For more clarity, gist of the cabinet brief on land laws has been put out here

    The Himachal Cabinet has made certain changes to the land Rules under the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reform Act 1972. The cabinet decision has made amendments in Rule 38-A (a)(2) of the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reform Rules, 1975.

    The amended Rule provides that for all purposes, other than for a dwelling unit or shop, any non-agriculturist seeking to acquire land with permission under section 118 of Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reform Act 1972, shall need an essentiality certificate (EC) from the concerned department that will certify his eligibility. It must also be stated that land required is as per norms and that NOCs from all relevant departments and authorities including Local Bodies have been obtained. In effect, for certain purposes like agriculture/horticulture use where no EC was required, this has been brought in and in cases like tourism and industry, relaxation with regard to NOCs have been removed.

    In the case of permission for purchase of land for dwelling unit, the permission will be given only to a person living and working in Himachal Pradesh prior to 1972 and/ or to persons working in the state for over 30 years and duly recommended by concerned local body and to employees possessing bona fide Himachali Certificate, to Gallantry or Padma Award Winners and to persons who have achieved eminence in the sphere of health, education, culture, research, public service, sports and business and are recommended by a Committee of Principal Secretaries.

    The amendment also plugs a loophole in the present system where for built up houses and flats, section 118 is not attracted if the same is on lease upto 99 years. Consequently many transactions take place for flats and buildings on 99 year lease. These are registered at a fraction of the cost of transfer by sale. The amended Rules will allow for transfer by sale of such properties provided they are registered with the Town and Country Planning Department. This will enable the full stamp duty to be realized on these transactions.

    These amended Rules and streamlined procedure will bring relief to both long term residents of Himachal Pradesh and outsiders, by clarifying the position in cases where permission can be granted and where it will be refused.

    The cabinet also decided to repeal the HP Pre-Emption Act, 2010, which has been attracting widespread criticism for holding up transactions relating to sale of land.

    It has been decided to amend the HP Land Revenue Act, 1954, to provide for service of summons by way of publication in newspaper in case service cannot be affected at known address. This will facilitate speedier disposal of revenue cases, specially partition cases. Option of having mutation based on documents, entered and attested at Tehsil/Sub-Tehsil level instead of in Patwar Circle can also be availed. This will facilitate immediate mutation of registered sales and other transactions and provide relief to persons residing away from Patwar Circle due to employment or other reasons.

    It was also decided to amend the HP Ceiling of Land Holding Act, 1972, to increase the ambit of activities qualifying for exemption from ceiling limit. Currently this is available only for hydel projects, industry and tea gardens. Given the expanding scope of economic, social and cultural activities, it was proposed to extend this to IT Parks, BT Parks, Tourism Units, religious or spiritual organisations and bodies or organizations active in the sphere of education and sports. This Act once passed by the Vidhan Sabha will be sent to Government of India for the assent of the President of India.

    The Cabinet also considered the HP Lease Rules relating to lease of government land to rectify the shortcomings and defects pointed out by government departments, public and concerned organisations. The new Rules streamline purposes for which lease can be granted so as to restrict it to public purposes of infrastructure, social and cultural activities and those with a location specificity such as hydel projects, ropeways etc. The lease rates have been standardized to 5 percent for a 99 year lease and 3.5 percent for lease upto 40 years, with a provision for periodic revision. Sub lease of shops in bus stand areas, parkings, etc. have been provided for to enable such infrastructure to come up on a self sustaining basis.

  2. says: Onkar

    Can you tell me if it would bar outsiders from illegally encroaching land in Himachal? Is it good for the locals?

Leave a comment
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.