Hyderabad: The Telangana Agricultural Land Conversion for Non-Agricultural Purposes Bill 2020 has been adopted by the State Legislative Assembly, repealing the contentious discretionary powers of the revenue officials concerned under Section 47(A) of the current Act.
Thus, people can now apply via the Dharani portal for the conversion of their agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes without any obstacles and receive the corresponding passbook immediately after the conversion of the land.
Minister of Legislative Affairs Vemula Prashanth Reddy, who introduced the Bill here on Tuesday in the Assembly, said the amendments would simplify the process of land conversion and bring transparency, in addition to preventing any irregularities.
In this regard, he said there were many complaints regarding harassment by some revenue officials and it was also found that the undervaluation of lands by some revenue division officers had resulted in dues of Rs 826 crore to the State exchequer.
Since 2016, he said, due to undervaluation of lands by the RDOs using their discretionary powers and causing losses, the state government earned only Rs 623 crore.
It was noted that some revenue officers misused their discretionary powers either to intimidate the applicants or to resort to irregularities during the land conversion by undervaluing the land. Both would be stopped by the new amendment, “he said.
People may submit their application to convert agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes in compliance with the new provisions and book a slot on the Dharani portal.
The applicant will be summoned by the Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) to complete the entire process, including land conversion, online entry, and will also issue a temporary e-passbook enabling land use for non-agricultural purposes. The permanent passbook will be delivered by mail to the applicant ‘s home.
Furthermore, the State Government has agreed not to impose any criminal charges against the use of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes, given that the landowners send a request within three months of diverting the land for non-agricultural purposes.
Previously, as a penalty, property owners had to pay 50 percent of the conversion fees. The Minister claimed that the amendments would bridge the gap in cooperation between revenue, panchayat raj and municipal authorities in the identification of a number of agricultural lands used for non-agricultural purposes without the due process being completed.
Prashanth Reddy, clarifying the concerns posed by the lawmakers, said that both the Endowments and the Wakf lands were locked in the Dharani portal and hence their status cannot be changed.
The Dharani website also prevents intruders from transforming the land use without the knowledge of the land owner.
He said that approximately 1.48 crore acres of pattadar passbooks were entered into the Dharani portal, comprising about 95 percent of the entire land records, as per available records. After the problems are settled, the records of land in dispute will be entered into the website. (INN)