The Himachal Pradesh government on Tuesday amended the HP Ceiling on Land Holdings Act, 1972 (Act 19 of 1973) to prevent sale and change of land use to protect and promote tea industry in the state.
The amendment was moved by State Revenue Minister Mahender Singh Thakur in the HP Ceiling on Land Holdings Act, 1972 which was enacted to put a ceiling on the big land holdings.
Thakur stated that with an objective to promote tea industry in the state, the lands under tea estate were exempted from the operation of the Act under clause of Section 5 of this Act.
At present, Section 6-A and 7-A of the Act provide for change of land use and transfer of land under the tea estate with the prior permission of the state government.
It has been observed that the lands under the tea estate have been invariably used for purposes other than tea plantation or have been transferred by way of sale etc by misusing these clauses which is against the spirit and intention of the legislation, he added.
He stated that in order to address the issue, a high powered committee was formed in which legislative assembly members from all the political parties were included. In its recommendations, the committee stated that in order to promote the tea industry in the state there is a need to amend the Act by making suitable amendments in Sections 6-A and 7-A.
This is being done to discourage change of land use and transfer of lands under the tea estate by way of sale etc. In case of violations of the provisions of the Act, such lands will be vested with the government, he added.