NEW DELHI: The AAP government revised circle rates of agricultural land in the budget passed by the Delhi assembly in June. However, a month later its implementation is still awaited.
The step was taken by the government to ensure higher compensation to farmers if their land was acquired for development purposes. The last revision happened in 2008.
As per the revenue department, a notification can only be made after the lieutenant governor’s approval. It’s feared that a fresh tussle may take place between the LG and CM on this issue. The file was referred to the chief secretary KK Sharma last week and senior officials have become silent on its fate. Now all eyes are on the CM’s office and the next move of the chief secretary.
The budget increased circle rates of agricultural land between Rs 1 crore and Rs 3.5 crore. The current rate for regular agricultural land is Rs 53 lakh per acre.
Sources said that the government has been informed that since 2007, when circle rates became effective, all revisions are effected by the state after approval from the LG.
In 2010, when differences erupted between the then chief minister Sheila Dikshit and LG Tejendra Khanna, the matter was sent by the former to the Union home ministry. The Centre then put on record after consulting the law ministry and the then additional solicitor general that circle rates will be approved by the LG under “aid and advice of the council of ministers led by the chief minister.” The final word on the matter would be of the elected government and the LG would approve the cabinet’s decision.
Since circle rates are linked to many other land-related legal issues, including those governed by the Court Fee Act and the land acquisition law, approval from the LG would not leave them open to any kind of legal challenge.
Presenting the budget, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia had said that the government had decided to fulfill the long pending demand of farmers to increase circle rates, which is the benchmark for land acquisition.
The government also laid out a differential rate structure comprising two categories – regular agricultural land and those falling in villages where land pooling policy is applicable. For instance, in east Delhi while circle rate for regular agricultural land per acre will be revised to Rs 1 crore per acre, plots falling in areas identified for development under land pooling policy would cost Rs 2.25 crore per acre. In south Delhi, the revised rate for regular agricultural land will be Rs 1.5 crore per acre and that under land pooling category Rs 3.5 crore per acre.
Source: Times Of India
Dated: 29th July 2015