Purchasing Agricultural Land : The Rules and Laws Across Indian States
Various states follow different procedures for the purchase of agricultural land. In certain states only an agriculturist can purchase such land whereas there are no restrictions in other states. All over India, NRIs and foreign citizens can’t purchase agricultural land/plantation property/farm houses. They can, however, inherit agricultural lands. Here providing the information state by state in alphabetical order.
There are no restrictions for those looking at investing in agricultural land. Anyone can purchase agricultural land here. The maximum ceiling limit of land area as per the Andhra Pradesh Land Reforms Act, 1973 is as follows: The family unit ( Individual, Spouse and 3 Minor Children) can be hold or purchased maximum extent of land is 10 Acres in Class A lands ( irrigated & double crop wet lands) and 54 acres in Class K ( dry and non irrigated lands). Agriculture lands in agency tracts, who is owned by Schedule Tribal (ST)should not be transferable to individuals except ST cooperative societies and its members( again member should be schedule Tribal).
In Arunachal Pradesh , sale of land or property to outsiders (non-tribals) is prohibited. Arunachal falls under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and in all such areas, non-tribals cannot purchase land or property.
Assam Govt. have adopted the new land policy in 1989, some of the basic features of which are stated below.
Allotment/ Settlement of land for Ordinary cultivation in rural area.
(i) Land already allotted may be settled with the indigenous allottee, provided the allottee is in continuous possession for a period of 3 years or more by cultivating the same or has used it for the purpose for which it was allotted.
(ii) The maximum limit of land for allotment to an individual is fixed at 7 (seven) bighas for agriculture and 1(one) bigha for homestead.
Allotment of land for allied agricultural purposes in rural areas:
Land in rural areas may be allotted for Pisciculture, Dairy, Piggery, Sericulture etc. On the basis of the schemes or projects duly approved by the departments concerned, to local land less families who have taken aforesaid as means of livelihood, subject to 5 (five) bighas per family and 20 (twenty) bighas for registered Co-operative Society/firm.
Allotment of land special cultivation:
Government high land and ceiling surplus land suitable for special cultivation may be allotted to small indigenous growers particularly (a) Indigenous youths coming from the families below poverty line,(b) Other indigenous educated unemployed youths,© Co-operative of indigenous unemployed youths,(d) The maximum ceiling of allotment of land for special Cultivation is four hectres of holdings of the number of members in case of registered Co-operative society.
The scheduled castes and scheduled Tribe’s landless eligible persons occupying Govt. land shall be given settlement of the land under their occupation, if the land is not otherwise reserved for any specific purposes. In case, the land under their occupation in needed for any public purpose, alternative suitable land shall be given settlement to such persons before the land under their occupation is taken over for the public purpose.
There are no restrictions for those looking at investing in agricultural land. Anyone can purchase agricultural land here. The maximum ceiling limit of land area as per the Bihar Land Reforms Act, 1961 is as follows;The family unit ( Individual, Spouse and Minor Children) can be hold or purchased maximum extent of land is 15 Acres in Class I lands ( irrigated lands) and 45 acres in Class VI( hilly and sandy). One who is willing to sell his agriculture land, first he has to inform to co- sharers ( lease holder) or adjacent land owner. If they are not willing to buy with in three months time then he can sell to any one.
The State government passed Chhattisgarh Land Revenue Code (amendment) Bill, 2017 (amendment in section 165 of the Chhattisgarh/Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code, 1959) has been passed to simplify the land acquisition process and to eliminate hindrances in the path development. As per the new law in scheduled areas, tribal people can sell their land with the permission from Collectors. Hence there are no restrictions in this state to buy agriculture land.
Agricultural lands can’t be purchased by a non-agriculturist. Earlier, only those residing in the State could invest in agricultural land in Gujarat but in 2012 the Gujarat High Court passed a judgement that allows any agriculturist in the country to purchase such land in the State.
Certain areas in the State have been declared ‘controlled areas’ and for those looking at purchasing agricultural land in these areas for non-agricultural purposes, they need to obtain a certificate indicating the change of land use from the Government of Haryana.
Only an agriculturist belonging to the State can purchase agricultural land here. People from other states require prior permission of the Government of Himachal Pradesh u/s 118 of HP Tenancy and Land Reforms Act. The maximum land ceiling limit in is 160 bighas or 32 acres.
Jammu & Kashmir
The law concerning ‘state subjects’ was enforced in J&K on April 20, 1927, to prevent rich foreigners from purchasing land, to protect the interests of the peasantry. The law was later adopted by the state’s democratically elected government. The law continued till 1957 when the new constitution of J&K was introduced and ‘state subject’ was changed to ‘permanent resident’. Permanent Resident Status (PRS) was accorded to those who had been living in the state for at least 10 years before 14 May, 1954. The PRS was permanent and non-discriminatory.
Only an agriculturist can purchase agricultural land. A non-agriculturist is a person whose income from any source exceeds Rs. 25 lakh per annum (earlier the limit was Rs.2 lakh per annum). Under Section 109 of Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964, social or industrial organisations can purchase agricultural land with Government approval.
Similar to Tamil Nadu, anyone can purchase agricultural land here. The maximum ceiling limit of land area as per the Kerala Land Reforms Act, 1963 is as follows:
a) In case of an adult unmarried person or a family consisting of a sole surviving member, five standard acres and the ceiling limit shall not be less than six and more than seven-and-a-half acres. b) For a family consisting of two or more but no more than five members, 10 standard acres and the ceiling limit shall not be less than 12 and more than 15 acres. c) If it’s a family consisting of more than five members, 10 standard acres increased by one standard acre for each member in excess of five, and the ceiling limit shall not be less than 12 and more than 20 acres. d) For any other person, other than a joint family, 10 standard acres and the ceiling limit shall not be less than 12 and more than 15 acres.
Only an agriculturist can purchase agricultural land and if a person holds such land anywhere else in India, he can still be deemed an agriculturist in Maharashtra. The maximum ceiling limit for such land is 54 acres.
Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan
There are no restrictions in this state. Earlier, under Section 17 of the Imposition of Ceiling on Agricultural Holdings Act, 1973, there were certain ceiling limits on buying agricultural land from the ‘Khatedars’ in Rajasthan. The provisions of this section were amended in 2010 and people from other states can now purchase agricultural land here. One has to, however, apply for conversion within a year from acquisition and commence the proposed non-agricultural use within three years from the date of conversion in Rajasthan.
Outsiders cannot buy land here, except to set up industrial units. Only Sikkimese residents are permitted to buy land here. Article 371F of the Constitution of India, which grants special provisions to Sikkim, prohibits sale and purchase of land or property involving outsiders. In addition to this, only tribals can purchase land and property in the tribal areas of the state. The entire north district of Sikkim, for instance, is a tribal area.
There are no restrictions for those looking at investing in agricultural land. The maximum extent of land that can be purchased is 59.95 acres and it can be converted into non-agricultural land by the orders of the district collector, provided that no agricultural activity has been carried out in the said land during the last 10 years (prior to the date of conversion).
Additional Land Law of Uttaranchal which came into existence on September 12, 2003. “This law states that outsiders can buy property in the state up to 550 sq mt (5,914 sq ft). If property above this limit is to be acquired, one has to get the District Magistrate’s permission for which one has to file an affidavit with the DM stating that land will be used only for horticulture or agriculture.
As per the West Bengal Land Reforms Act, private ownership of agricultural land in the State is capped at 17.5 acres for irrigated areas and 24.5 acres for areas that are only rainfed. In urban areas, private ownership is capped at 7.5 cottahs or one-eighth of an acre. Only tea gardens, mills, workshops, livestock breeding firms, poultry farms, dairies, and townships are exempted from the restrictions of the Land Reforms Act.