Ceiling on land holding (amendment) bill referred to select committee amid Cong walkout



Shimla (Aug 26): Himachal Pradesh state Assembly today referred the Himachal Pradesh Ceiling on Land Holdings (Amendment) Bill to a select committee amidst walkout by the Congress members who demanded that the Bill be withdrawn.

Congress member Kaul Singh (Darang) opposed the Bill on the plea that amendments would open floodgates for “plundering”, scare agricultural land in the state, which must be preserved for posterity and outsiders would purchase the land on the pretext of setting up projects and institutions.

Intervening in the discussion, the Chief Minister refuted the charges leveled by Kaul Singh and asserted that “Himachal has been sold” only when Congress was in power in the state and reiterated that the Congress governments had amended the land laws several times and maximum permissions for purchase of land in relaxation of section 118 of Tenancy and Land ceiling Act, which barred non-agriculturists from purchasing any land, were given during the Congress regimes.

He said that the government had already set up a judicial a commission to inquire into ‘benami” land deals and violation of Section 118 and urged the Congress members to report the cases of violation to the Commission.

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