Rajasthan becomes first to pass titling law
Rajasthan has become the first state in the country to pass a legislation that provides statutory backing to land records, thereby, providing a guarantee to land and property ownership. The Vasundra Raj-led BJP government in Rajasthan passed the Rajasthan Urban Land (Certification Of Titles) Bill, 2016 through a voice vote. The legislation will improve transparency in land dealings and enhance the confidence of landowners.
A land title is an official record of who owns a piece of land. India does not guarantee land titles. The proof of transactions between the buyer and the seller or the property tax receipt are the only proof of land ownership. This often leads to a large number of litigations, thereby, blocking the land and affecting housing, development, and industrial projects.
By providing statutory backing to land records the law will reduce litigations over land and smoothen the process of land acquisition. It will accelerate industrial development and is both consumer and industry friendly, and at the same time empowers the small and marginal farmers by providing security of land ownership. The bill, like the Rajasthan labour reforms, may set a precedent for other states.
The opposition Congress party has tagged the land reforms as pro-rich and pro-corporate which will lead to an increase in land prices and corruption.
Rajasthan government also passed the Rajasthan Land Pooling Schemes Bill which will help consolidate small land holdings and will complement the Special Investment Regions (SIR) Bill. Land holdings in Rajasthan are small and irregular, which hinders economic development. The land pooling bill aims to correct this by consolidating the land and providing the land-owners with an equivalent share of the developed land.
The Special Investment Regions (SIR) Bill which replaces the Rajasthan Industrial Area Development Authority Act, 1995, provides impetus to the economic sectors in the state by setting large investment regions.
The land reforms come at a time when Rajasthan government in Nov'15 had invited investment proposals worth Rs.3.2 lakh crores during the Resurgent Rajasthan summit. Further, they will complement the central government schemes such as the smart cities project and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and housing for all. The reforms will facilitate urbanisation and industrialisation of the state.