Karnataka government recently amended the Karnataka Land Reform Act of 1961 through an ordinance. It has eased many clauses of the Act to enable trouble-free buying of farmland. The new amendments will open the way for the purchase of the farm by non-agriculturists and removes the existing ceiling limits on land ownership.
Through this amendment, the state government has done away with 79 (a), (b), and (c) and section 80 of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act-1961 to allow non-agriculturists to purchase farmlands. It has also amended section 63, increasing the ceiling to allow one family to own a little over 200 acres. Additionally, the cap on an income of Rs. 2.5 million (Rs. 25 lakh) for a non-agriculturist will be removed.
Farmer’s movements have vehemently opposed the new changes, calling it an anti-farmer and pro-corporate move by the government. Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha leaders have been staging series of statewide protests in opposition and have called upon the government to withdraw the amendment. Farmers are worried that the new amendments would spell doom for the marginal and small landholders by reducing them to farm laborers.
In the following video, Kannaiyan Subramaniam from the South Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements speaks to Prof.Ravivarma Kumar, a socialist thinker, senior advocate, and Chukki Nanjundaswamy of KRRS. They discuss the historical aspects of the land reforms in the state, and on the recent amendments and it’s implications on the farming community.