Saturday, 29 September 2012

Ban sought on sale of agricultural land in Goa

Panaji: Former union minister of state Ramakant Khalap has asked Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to ban the sale of agricultural land to non-agriculturists so that the state's "vast agricultural heritage and evergreen ecosystem" is not tampered.

Greedy investors and speculators from other parts of country are threatening to corner voluminous chunks of agricultural land in Goa, destroying the state's "vast agricultural heritage and evergreen ecosystem", Khalap said in a letter addressed to Parrikar on Saturday.

"I am constrained to bring to your kind attention repeated newspaper reports about largescale sale of Goa's agricultural properties to non-agriculturists, investors and speculators both of Indian and foreign origins," the Congress leader said.

Goa's land revenue code should be altered to accommodate the ban, he said. Khalap said that vast tracts of agricultural land was often bought and then clandestinely converted for commercial purposes for dubious eco-tourism projects.

Booming real estate prices have resulted in undeveloped land as well as developed properties being sold like hot cake in the coastal state, known for its easy lifestyle and tourism prowess. 

The lure of investment for return on land resources has, however, proved to be detrimental for several hundred foreigners, who had purchased properties by violating the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) norms. The transactions are now being probed by the Enforcement Directorate.


Original Article Here

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