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  • Writer's pictureMrinal Javaji

Changes to the Land Reforms Act, 1961

The Congress government led by the then Siddaramaiah government had amended the Land Reforms Act, 1961 in 2015 increasing the income limit from non-agricultural sources to Rs. 25 Lakhs from the earlier amount of Rs. 2 Lakhs. However, the law as of now requires agriculturists to sell their farmland only to other agriculturists. According to the present law, a person with an annual income above Rs. 25 Lakhs from non-agricultural sources would lose their agricultural status regardless of their family background.

However, the present State Cabinet in order to encourage investments into agriculture from IT/BT and other high-salaried professionals intends to allow direct purchase of agricultural lands from the farmers and has decided to repeal Sections 63-A (Ceiling on land holdings), 79-A (Acquisition of land by certain persons prohibited), 79-B (Prohibition of holding agricultural lands by certain persons), 79-C (Penalty for failure to furnish declaration) and 80 (Prohibition of transfers to non-agriculturalists) of the Land Reforms Act, 1961. The amendments to these sections facilitate non-agriculturists to purchase agricultural land and also remove the ceiling on income from non-agricultural sources. The cabinet has also decided to increase the number of units of land an individual can hold.

Section 63 (a) of the Act, imposes a ceiling of 10 units for a five-member family and the same has been removed to enable a family to possess 20 units of land. The Revenue Minister Mr. R. Ashok and Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mr. J. C. Madhuswamy have also informed that the ceiling will also be increased from 20 units to 40 units for a family having more than five members.

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