Bengaluru: The Karnataka government on Thursday, June 11 decided to amend the Land Reforms Act, making it easier to buy agricultural land in the state. It has also decided to bring in changes to the law to increase the cap on how much agricultural land a person can own. "The cabinet has decided to bring in an Act to repeal sections 79 a, b ,c, and 80. Along with this section 63- the ceiling that was there under land holding provision, we have decided to double it," Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy said. Speaking to reporters after the cabinet meeting here, he said, "79 a, b, c will get canceled, but one condition is that it will not be applicable to cases that have already been decided.. the cabinet has taken the policy decision today, we will be bringing a bill in this connection." So far, non-agriculturists could not purchase agricultural property and even those with an agricultural background could not purchase farmland if their annual non- agricultural income exceeded Rs 25 lakh. Also, only educational, religious institutions, companies, cooperative societies among other exceptions could purchase agricultural land. "Pointing out that techies who are earning well want to invest in agriculture, but because of restrictions here are going and investing in other states," Madhuswamy said, also because of restrictions agriculturists are not getting the rate for their land. "So with an intention of agriculture growth and also to facilitate industries, we are doing it," he said, noting that such restrictions are not there in Tamil Nadu or Andhra Pradesh or other neighboring states, and anybody can go and buy land there. The Minister further said that by amending section 63, it would increase the ceiling on land holding from 10 units to 20 units for an individual without family or a family up to four people, and from 20 units to 40 units for large families with more than five people. The government plans to bring a bill in this connection during the next session of the assembly. The cabinet has also decided to rename Bengaluru Central University as Bengaluru City University, and the Government Science College in the central college premises as Nrupatunga University, by giving it the University status. It has also decided to have one open university functioning in the state while other universities should stop their open university activities, the Minister said, adding that Karnataka State Open University in Mysuru, would be the only open university operating in the state. The cabinet has also decided to withdraw 53 cases registered in various police stations of the state-linked to incidents like Ganapati idol immersion, pro-people, and farmers' agitations among others. It was also decided to bring an amendment to Karnataka Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, making provision for sales agreement. This would be a binding document for both the builders and the buyers on all aspects related to the sale of a property that would be considered by law, the Minister said. Among the other cabinet decisions include- to conduct cooperative societies election other than Sugar factories that were held up due to COVID-19 situation, administrative approval for the upgradation of 1,307 existing health sub-centres and 1,694 primary health centres in health, and wellness centres, and approval for the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Amendment Bill 2020 among others.
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