Legal Advice

The Karnataka Land Reforms Act

Author : Nihal Anand

Two notable events happened in the year 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic made people prioritize health over anything else. They started to look for options other than traditional real estate that would help them not only in the long run but also in the present times, and what better than farmland that takes you closer to nature. Simultaneously, the Karnataka government heard the calls of the urban populace, and amended the old, archaic Karnataka Land Reforms Act, by easing the restrictions that existed on the ownership of agricultural land in the state. This much-needed amendment has now opened the doors for any individual/institution to own farmland in Karnataka.

Here is a key summary of the Act through the years:

The Sections The Past

The Karnataka Land Reforms Act (1961)

The Present

The Karnataka Land Reforms Act (2020)

The Future
Section 63 Ceiling on holding of agricultural land limited to 10 units* per individual Ceiling increased to 20 units per individual (it means that the land ceiling for a dry land has increased from 54 acres to 108 acres) Any green enthusiast of any professional background from anywhere in the country, under any income bracket, with a passion for agriculture can buy farmland in Karnataka to fulfil their dream of owning farmland. 
Section 79A No family (HUF)  having a non-agricultural income of over 25 lakhs per annum could own agricultural land.  Sections 79A has been repealed. Now, anyone can own land as there is no income slab. 
Section 79B No person from a non-farming family of Karnataka could ever own agricultural land  Section 79B has been repealed; anyone from a non-farming family from anywhere in India can also own agricultural land in Karnataka.
Section 80 Agricultural land cannot be transferred to a non-agriculturist The Section has been amended to propose restrictions on land transfer, as opposed to a complete bar.

* One unit is equal to 5.4 acres

Implications of the Act:

  • The amendments to these archaic laws have opened up the agricultural business, a sector that is witnessing an influx of investments. In fact, the people owning these lands will themselves benefit from these reforms because it opens up their land to different avenues and opportunities. 
  • Karnataka’s already thriving service sector will receive an even bigger boost. Infrastructure, tourism, transport, and hospitality will all demand an increase in investment and manpower, and this Act facilitates the impetus.
  • More than anything, it’s the common Karnataka citizen whom this Act will impact the most. People will no longer have to travel to another state to purchase land. Many agriculture enthusiasts who dream of owning land despite not having an agricultural background can now fulfil their dream.



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