Punjab creates land banks to boost industrial production

The Punjab cabinet on December 2, 2019, approved the amendment of Punjab Village Common Land (Regulation) rules, 1964. It aims at creating land banks in rural areas to boost industrial development in the state.

Highlights of the amendment

The amendment has included Rule 12-B that provides special provision to transfer shamlat land or common land to the development of industrial projects. According to GoI, Shamlat land is the land that does not come under cultivation and habitation. It is the consolidated land holdings that are held by the state governments for common use.

Under the amendment, the Gram Panchayat can transfer the shamlat land to the industries with prior approval from the state government. Land Banks are to be set up under Gram Panchayat to implement this amendment.

In order to achieve this, as an initial step, 1,000 acres of Panchayat land have been identified and integrated across five different villages. It will be used to develop a Global Manufacturing and Knowledge Park at Rajpura in Patiala District. The park is a part of the Amristar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor project.

The rule allows the transfer of land to industry department or state-owned Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC).

Significance

The amendment will help in fastening the development of core and infrastructure projects. It will also bring in long-term industrial benefits. Along with land banks, amendments were also made to factories act, industrial disputes act and contract labor act. These amendments aim at promoting ease of doing business.

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