SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Saturday announced rules for converting agricultural land into non-agricultural land beyond the already stipulated 400 square metres which was allowed for only residential purposes.

The facility of land conversion is believed to become pivotal for the union territory’s industrial growth that had largely been impeded by the non-availability of land for industrial purposes.

An official statement said: “The Revenue Department framed Jammu and Kashmir Agricultural Land (Conversion for Non-Agricultural Purposes) Regulations which empowered landowners to convert agricultural land for non-agricultural beyond 400 square metres for residential purposes.

“The concerned district development commissioner will head the committee which will examine the plea for conversion of agricultural land into non-agricultural and grant permission after recommendations from the Committee.

“The Committee will have the Assistant Commissioner (Revenue) as the Member Secretary and will include senior-most officers in the districts of Public Works (R&B), Irrigation & Flood Control, Power Development, Pollution Control Committee (if required), Agriculture, Industries and Commerce, Development Authority of the district, Forests and any other member(s) co-opted by the Chairman.

“The district-level Committee will meet every week on a fixed day to consider cases for change of land use. The District Collectors will, however, be empowered to call additional meetings to dispose of the cases.

“The Government has listed certain conditions on which the permission for conversion of land use will be granted. The grant of permission shall be subject to the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Land Revenue Act and Rules framed. The land shall not be used for a purpose other than that for which permission is granted.

“If the applicant does not commence non-agricultural use applied for within one year from the order of the date and up to the maximum period of two years from the first date of permission, the permission granted shall be deemed to have lapsed. The Assistant Commissioner Revenue/Sub Divisional Magistrate concerned can take action for any violation under provisions of the Act.

“For conversion of agricultural land, the owner will be charged fee equivalent to Rs 5 per cent of the market value of the land as notified for the purpose under the Stamps Act. If subsequently land use is changed for a purpose other than that for which permission has been given, then the fee, if applicable on differential market value shall be charged after permission for the purpose is accorded by the concerned District Collector.”

The statement went on to say that the Revenue Department has fixed 30 days time limit for grant of permission.

“If no decision/comment is conveyed within a period of 30 days after receipt of application complete in all respects, the District Collector shall, deeming due consideration, grant permission exercising the powers vested on him and report details with explanatory notes to the Revenue Department. The timeline of 30 days shall be counted from the date of addressing all deficiencies as may be communicated by the District Collectors.

“It shall be the duty of every Agriculture Extension Officer to report violations of these regulations in their respective areas of jurisdiction to the Assistant Commissioner Revenue, SDM or the Tehsildar. In case he fails to do so, it shall be treated as dereliction of duty on his part and he shall be liable to disciplinary action,” it added. (IANS)


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