The regulations were approved in December by the J&K Administrative Council headed by LG Manoj Sinha.
J&K Agricultural Land Regulations 2022 -
The Government on Friday notified the ‘Jammu and Kashmir Agricultural Land [Conversion for Non-Agricultural Purposes] Regulations, 2022. These regulations authorized the land owners to convert their agricultural land for non- agricultural purposes beyond 400 square meters for residential purposes. The regulations were notified under the Jammu and Kashmir Land Revenue Act, Samvat 1996.
The Board of Revenue notified the regulations in exercise of the powers conferred by the sub- section  of section 133-A read with the sub- section  of the section 5-A of the Jammu and Kashmir Land Revenue Act, Samvat 1996.
As per the notification issued by the Jammu and Kashmir Board of Revenue, all these regulations will come into force with effect from the date of publication of notification in the official gazette.
Under these regulations, powers have been assigned to the District Collector to grant permission for land up to “12 and a half standard acre against a fee of 5 per cent of the market value of the land mentioned under the Stamps Act”.
The regulations were approved by the Administrative Council of Jammu and Kashmir, that is headed by LG Manoj Sinha on December 16 last year.
These regulations were necessitated after the legislative changes within the land revenue Act post-reorganisation of the erstwhile state,” the government afore said.
The Ministry of Home Affairs, in October 2020, passed an order within which they introduced key amendments to four major laws of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, that ruled possession, sale and purchase of land within the erstwhile state, including the Jammu and Kashmir Land Revenue Act, 1996.
Under the Jammu and Kashmir Agricultural Land [Conversion for Non-Agricultural Purposes] Regulations, 2022, issued on Friday, the Board of Revenue has provided rules for conversion of land use in the Union Territory. Therefore, agricultural land can be used for any non- agricultural purpose. A permission may be granted by a District Collector after recommendations from the District Level Committee and after depositing the payment of conversion fee. The permission will be granted subject to the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Land Revenue Act and Rules.
The Rules mention that the land won’t be used for the aim apart from that for which permission is granted. “Besides, the applicant shall begin the non- agricultural use applied for within one year from the date of the order made by the District Collector in that behalf, failing which, unless said period is extended by the District Collector from time to time, up to the maximum period of two years from the first date of permission, the permission granted shall be deemed to have lapsed,” Rules mention.
The regulations mention that, for permission for the conversion of land, the land owner should make an application to the competent authority for permission to convert the land or to change the use of agricultural land for non- agricultural purposes as ‘residential purposes, beyond the 400 square meter’ or ‘any other purpose’. All the applications that are made for the conversion of use of land from agriculture to non- agricultural purpose as mentioned in the Section 133- A of the Act, should be made to the District Collector, along with revenue extracts, copy of sale deeds, key location plan, letter of intent from the concerned agency and also an approval from the concerned authority that would regulate the ‘activity for which the change of land use has been sought’.
The application will be filed on the web portal of the District Collector concerned. The District Collector will then forward the application of conversion to the Revenue field agencies for verification of records, and will also include a copy of application form to the Power Development Department, Irrigation food control, Public works department, National highway of India [as the case may be], Jal shakti department, Railways and Airport authority [if mentioned/ required] and any other departments of government or relevant agency for the verification and seeking no objection in this regard.
This application of conversion will then go to the District Level Committee comprising of the District Collector, Assistant Commissioner Revenue. The committee also includes members from eight government departments, including power development, agriculture and industries, public works, for the approval. The Assistant Commissioner Revenue, Tehsildar and Sub- divisional magistrate are responsible for checking and monitoring the implementation of these regulations. They are responsible for their respective areas of the jurisdiction.
The District level committee will be meeting on a weekly basis, on a fixed day of the week. They will meet to consider the cases regarding the change of land use. However, the regulations also specify that, the district collector may arrange some additional cases to dispose of the cases.
The District Collector will make sure that the comments or decisions made by the committee on the application are conveyed to the applicants in the prescribed time limit.
It was instructed that, in case where no such communication is made by the District Collector, he shall ensure that the matter is also immediately brought to the notice of the Over sight committee in the Revenue Department, after three weeks of the receipt of the application. Also, all the remaining applications shall be reviewed in each meeting irrespective of the stage at which it is pending.
For deciding application for grant of permission, the time limit shall ordinarily be thirty days. If no decision or comment is communicated within a period of thirty days after the receipt of application complete in all respects, the District Collector shall, deeming due consideration, grant permission exercise the powers vested in him. The District Collector shall also report the details of such cases to the Revenue Department with an explanatory note.
This article is written by Manasi Khadilkar, of Gopaldas Jhamatmal Advani Law College.