Over the years, land and gold have been the top choice for investments among the common man. The profits generated in the form of regular rents from owning a home have added tax benefits, financial security, appreciation and leverage for your investment. Gold offers one a downside protection and a positive performance as currencies tend to fall against the gold value over time. The trends for asset investment have leaned towards stability and security, now more than ever.
The Covid-19 pandemic has collectively roused the desire to get away from crowded city spaces and into the open greens of the country. We have only now understood the importance of health in our lives, and that has pushed us into opting for greener and cleaner options for investments, ones that would not only benefit us but also mother earth. Out of all the green investments, buying farmland has emerged to be one of the most popular amongst the people. This call to move towards greener living reached the Karnataka government, which then amended the Karnataka Land Reforms Act to allow the common man to own agricultural land in the state. The key sections from the old Act (1961) can be summarised in the following points:
· Section 63- The holding of agricultural land was limited to 10 units* per individual.
· Section 79A- Ownership of agricultural land was not granted to any family (HUF) having a non-agricultural income of over 25 lakhs per annum.
· Section 79B- No person from a non-farming family of Karnataka could ever own agricultural land
· Section 80- Agricultural land could not be transferred to a non-agriculturist.
These same sections were amended by the Karnataka government in 2020, which can be summarised as follows:
· Section 63- the holding of agricultural land increased to 20 units per individual (the land ceiling for a dry land has increased from 54 acres to 108 acres)
· Section 79A- Section 79A was repealed, and the income slab was removed, enabling anyone to own agricultural land.
· Section 79B- Section 79B was also repealed, resulting in anyone from a non-farming family from anywhere in India being able to own agricultural land in Karnataka.
· Section 80- The Section was amended to have restrictions on land transfer, as opposed to a complete bar on the same.
These amendments imply that any green enthusiast from any walk of life, all across the country can now own farmland in Karnataka, without any income restrictions either. This has opened up a wide array of green opportunities- organic farming, permaculture, building a quiet country home, horticulture, having one’s own plantation or a mini orchard, owning a self-sustaining piece of land, and more!
With these amendments creating opportunities for exponential growth in the tourism, infrastructure, hospitality and transport sectors, there is an increase in the demand for manpower and investments as well. And knowing that people needn’t go to another state to buy agricultural land ensures that this trend is here to stay.