K J George for scrapping 99-year land lease policy

K J George for scrapping 99-year land lease policy

Minister K J George at the Deccan Herald office in Bengaluru on Friday. DH Photo

Industries Minister K J George on Friday said that he is in favour of scrapping the controversial policy of allocating land to industries on a 99-year lease basis.

In an interaction at DH office, he said the Commerce and Industries Department will soon send a proposal to the government to scrap the policy which was introduced in 2014.

“I am all for scrapping it, but the final decision has to be taken by the state Cabinet,” George stated.

Prior to 2014, the state government had fixed a tenure of 10-year lease-cum-sale for land allotted to industries. Due to severe shortage of land and since the industrial land was getting diverted for other purposes, the then government introduced the 99-year lease policy.

Industry bodies have been vehemently opposing the 99-year lease. Its withdrawal had become a long-standing demand of the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI), Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (Kassia), and Bangalore Chambers of Industry and Commerce (BCIC).

“The problem is that bankers don’t agree to take leased property at guarantee. Also by this, we are left at the mercy of the alloter,” C R Janardhana, senior vice president, FKCCI said.

Last May, the state government had withdrawn the policy partially for the benefit of small industrial units.

George further said that the government is also looking to identify land kept notified under the erstwhile land bank scheme that can be denotified. The department had already identified 20,000 such acres, out of which 14,000 acres have been denotified.

He said the then government in 2012 had notified around one lakh acres of land to be acquired for industrial use under its land bank scheme, which faced stiff resistance from farmers. “Neither the farmer is able to sell the land because of this, nor are we able to acquire this land because of lack of resources of such magnitude,” George added.

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