Revenue Minister Rohan Khaunte on Saturday said that a new bill, which bans the sale of agricultural land in Goa to non-agriculturists, is presently being vetted by the law department, and will be tabled in the state legislative assembly during its next session after it is cleared by the state cabinet.
“The government is looking at this legislation with total seriousness as it is part of the efforts to preserve the Goan land, which in turn was one of the key aspects of special status demand for Goa,” Khaunte said, adding that the bill was supposed to be tabled in the House, during its recently-concluded monsoon session, but the same had to be postponed, due to the delay in vetting this as well as other two bills pertaining to the leasing of land and Communidade Commission.
“The idea to bring these bills is to keep the lands, especially the agricultural land preserved for posterity and for betterment of the state,” he added, mentioning that the government basically wanted special status from the Centre, under Article 371 or any other provision of the Constitution of India, while on the state level, the initiative of the government was to save the land for posterity.
The Revenue Minister said that the objective to bring in the new law is to protect agriculture land, so as to avoid and completely stop the sale of agricultural land to non-agriculturists.
“Such previous sales resulted in changing the nature of the use of land, in turn reducing the tilled land in the state,” he observed.
Incidentally, a private member’s bill was proposed by senior Congress MLA Luizinho Faleiro for the conservation of agricultural land in Goa by preventing its sale to non-agriculturists during the recently concluded monsoon session of the state legislative assembly.
However, the same was not taken up by the House.