Ban sale of agricultural land to non-farmers: Goa panel

September 9th, 2011 - 12:31 am ICT by IANS  

Amitabh Bachchan Panaji, Sep 8 (IANS) Goa’s Law Commission Thursday recommended that the state government ban sale of agricultural land to non-agriculturists to stave off real estate speculation.

“We must stop sale of agriculturists’ land to non-agriculturists. In absence of such a law in Goa, agricultural lands, especially orchard lands, are being purchased by rich Goans who keep such land fallow and unproductive for obvious speculative reasons,” commission Chairman Ramakanth Khalap told reporters here.

And to drive home the message, Khalap, a former union minister of state for law, cited Amitabh Bachchan’s Barabanki land deal controversy as an illustration.

“Remember the Amitabh Bachchan case. Even he was pulled up,” Khalap said.

Bachchan, after a protracted legal tangle some years back, was forced to forfeit his claim to agricultural land in the Daulatpur village in Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki district after a petitioner challenged the actor’s claim of being an agriculturist.

Land norms in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and several other states ban the sale of agricultural land to non-agriculturists as a means of promoting agriculture as well as safeguarding land meant for crop production.

Khalap said that such a legislation was of paramount importance in Goa, a geographically small state where the real estate market is booming and where fertile land is being rampantly converted for real estate development.

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