Amendment bill on farm land presented

The State government on Monday presented an amendment bill in the Assembly seeking to allow diversion of agricultural land for mining of minor minerals and for stone-crushing activities.

The Karnataka Land Reforms and Certain Other Law (Amendment) Bill 2014 seeks to include mining of minor minerals in the definition “industrial development” under Section 109 of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act 1961.

Currently, diversion of agricultural land is allowed for educational institutions, places of worship, a housing project approved by the government, for horticulture purposes and industrial development.

Mining of minor minerals is not included in the definition “industrial development” under the Act.

The Bill, tabled by Revenue Minister V Srinivas Prasad, also seeks to amend Section 95 of the Act to simplify or minimise the time required for diversion of land for quarrying of minor minerals or stone crushing.

Court fee

The government also presented the Karnataka Court Fees and Suits Valuation (Amendment) Bill 2014 seeking to refund seventy five per cent of court fee paid by the parties in case of out-of-court settlement of a case. Currently, fifty per cent of the court fee is refunded for out-of-court settlement.

The Indian Succession (Karnataka Amendment) Bill 2014 was presented to enable legal representatives of the deceased person to recover both pecuniary damages for pain and suffering as well as compensation under the head “loss to the estate”. This apart, the Assembly passed the Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences University Act 2004 empowering the State government to nominate other members to the Board of Management like scientists, progressive livestock farmer and fisherman and representatives of the industries.

Several members, including Ramesh Kumar (Congress) and Visweshwar Hegde Kageri (BJP), said the government had to be specific about its intention to nominate members as there was a possibility of the provision being misused.

Farmers’ leader K S Puttannaiah of the Karnataka Sorvodaya Party suggested that experts in local species of cattle should also be nominated, which was agreed to by the government.

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