Karnataka has made changes to the Land Reforms Act 1961 through an ordinance to allow non-agriculturists to buy and own farmland for farming, according to an official here on Tuesday.
“The Land Reforms Act has been amended through an ordinance and notified after Governor Vajubhai R. Vala gave his assent to it on Monday night,” a Revenue Department official told IANS.
It now permits non-farmers to buy farmland and grow food crops. But they can’t use it for other activities.
“Sections 79 A, B and C of the Act have been repealed, paving way for bona fide citizens to invest in farmland and take to farming as a hobby, passion or additional occupation, which is rewarding,” the official said.
The amended Act will enable the state to attract investment in the farm sector and boost food output. The farm sector’s contribution to the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) has been less than manufacturing and services sectors over the last two decades.
Criticism by farmers, the Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) since the cabinet approved changes on June 11 forced the state government to retain section 80 of the Act, with an amendment, to prevent sale of the dam water irrigated farmland.
“The ordinance has also added a new section (80A), which says relaxations under the Act will not apply to land given to farmers under the Karnataka SC and ST Act 1978,” the official said.
The changes permits mortgage of farmland only to the state-run institutions, firms, cooperative societies as specified in the Act. The ordinance also makes legal cases pending in courts against the sections amended redundant as the new Act addresses the concerns raised in them.
“Besides generating substantial revenue for the state government, the Act will now allow farmers who find the occupation non-remunerative and risky due to droughts/floods and labour shortage to sell their surplus land to urban buyers,” the official said.
Hundreds of people who have been in diverse professions, like business, services, manufacturing, hospitality, education, health and teaching, will get an opportunity to take to farming and serve the nation.
Ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Rajya Sabha member K.C. Ramamurthy from Bengaluru said the amended Act would allow any citizen to buy farmland.
“Though hundreds of people petitioned successive governments since 45 years to abolish the ‘draconian’ sections, they were ignored. I compliment Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and Revenue Minister R. Ashok for the decision to allow everyone to buy farmland irrespective of their occupation or profession,” Ramamurthy had told IANS.
SpiceJet operates first long-haul wide-body charter flight to Canada
Airline major SpiceJet on Saturday became the first Indian budget carrier to operate a long-haul wide-body charter flight to North America.
The airline repatriated 352 Canadian nationals and permanent residency holders from New Delhi to Toronto on Saturday. The airline chartered a wide-body Airbus A330-900 Neo aircraft for the purpose.
The twin-aisle A330 Neo aircraft has a configuration of 353 economy and 18 business class seats.
“Our first-ever long-haul charter flight to Canada is yet another example of our commitment to helping as many people as we can to get back home to their families in these troubled times. Being the first Indian budget airline to operate a non-stop long-haul flight to North America is a proud moment for the SpiceJet family,” Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet, said in a statement.
“We have operated flights across the globe repatriating close to 85,000 people and transporting over 28,000 tonnes of medical and essential supplies, and we intend to keep on with our efforts,” the statement said.
On August 1, SpiceJet had repatriated 269 Indians from Amsterdam to Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
The airline has operated over 515 charter and Vande Bharat flights to help repatriate close to 85,000 stranded Indian citizens from countries such as the Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, the Netherlands, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka.
PM Narendra Modi to launch Rs 1 lakh crore financing facility on Sunday
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the financing facility of Rs 1 lakh crore under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund on Sunday and also release the sixth instalment of funds of Rs 17,000 crore to 8.5 crore farmers under the PM-KISAN scheme.
Modi will take part in the event around 11 a.m. via video conferencing and the occasion will be witnessed by lakhs of farmers, cooperatives, and citizens across the country. Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, will also be present on the occasion.
The Union Cabinet has approved the Central Sector Scheme of financing facility under “Agriculture Infrastructure Fund” of Rs 1 lakh crore. The fund will catalyse the creation of post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets such as cold storage, collection centres, processing units.
These assets will enable farmers to get greater value for their produce, as they will be able to store and sell at higher prices, reduce wastage, and increase processing and value addition.
Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in a statement said Rs 1 lakh crore will be sanctioned under the financing facility in partnership with multiple lending institutions.
Eleven of the 12 Public Sector Banks have already signed MOUs with the Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW). A three per cent interest subvention and credit guarantee of up to Rs 2 crore will be provided to the beneficiaries to increase the viability of these projects.
The beneficiaries of the scheme will include farmers, Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS), Marketing Cooperative Societies, Farmer Producer Organization Scheme (FPOs), Self Help Groups (SHGs), Joint Liability Groups (JLG), Multipurpose Cooperative Societies, Agri-entrepreneurs, startups, and Central or state agency or local body sponsored Public-Private Partnership Projects.
The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojna (PM-KISAN) scheme, launched on December 1, 2018 has provided a direct cash benefit of over Rs 75,000 crore to more than 9.9 crore farmers. This has enabled them to fulfil their agricultural requirements and support their families.
The rollout and implementation of the PM-KISAN scheme has happened at an unparalleled pace, with funds being directly transferred into the Aadhaar authenticated beneficiaries’ bank account to prevent leakage and increase convenience for farmers.
The scheme has also been instrumental in supporting farmers during the Covid-19 pandemic, through the release of nearly Rs 22,000 crore to aid the farmers during the lockdown period.
Petrol and diesel prices may rise again from next week
Consumers might see fuel prices going up again as oil companies are bracing up to pass the rise in global crude and product prices on retail sales.
Accordingly, petrol and diesel prices may begin their rising trend all over again much to the discomfort of fuel consumers that have faced constant increasing prices since June 7.
The pump price of petrol and diesel had remained unchanged for last one week as oil prices were steady and crude was hovering around $42 per barrel mark for past several days. But with crude price now rising and inching towards $45 per barrel mark, oil companies said that they will be left with no option but to raise retail prices of petrol and diesel.
“We will observe the price movement for next couple of days and if oil prices remains firm, a decision may be taken to revise retail product prices again under the daily price revision mechanism,” said an executive of a public sector oil company on condition of anonymity.
Diesel continues to be priced at Rs 73.56 per litre in Delhi while petrol price remains static at Rs 80.43 per litre. This price level has been maintained since last Friday when diesel were cut by a sharp Rs 8.38 per litre following Delhi government’s decision to reduce VAT on the product from 30 per cent to 16.75 per cent.
This price cut has again made diesel cheaper than petrol in the city after more than month. In fact, diesel is cheaper than petrol in Delhi by the widest margin among all metros now.
Delhi was the only major city in the country where diesel prices were higher than petrol. Diesel prices first rose above petrol in Delhi last month, much to the discomfort of the transport sector and the fuel dealers.
The Rs 1.5 per litre differential had led substantial loss of business to pump operators in Delhi as vehicles were getting diesel filled in neighbouring Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
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