Goa: MP to bat for legislation on sale of land

The state`s lone Rajya Sabha MP Shantaram Naik Monday said he will lobby for a legislation to empower the Legislative Assembly to regulate land transactions.

Last Updated: Jul 25, 2011, 11:45 AM IST

Panaji: Stressing the need for a ceiling on purchase of land in Goa to protect it from being "gobbled up by tycoons", the state`s lone Rajya Sabha MP Shantaram Naik Monday said he will lobby for a legislation to empower the Legislative Assembly to regulate land transactions.

Naik, who was re-elected to the Upper House last week, said he would put in consolidated efforts to convince Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to pass the legislation.

"The Parliament has to pass special provision under article 371 of the Constitution, which will enable the Goa Legislative Assembly to regulate transactions of land in public interest," he said.

There has to be a ceiling on land purchase as there are fears that land tycoons would gobble up vast tracts of land in the tiny state, he said.

Naik said he had submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister a year back, highlighting the need for such a regulation in the small state. He also submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Digambar Kamat who had forwarded it to the
Prime Minister.

A couple of years back, Goa government had tried to amend its registration act by inserting a clause that "the state would have power to regulate land sale in public interest".

"The amendment was referred to the Governor for assent and later sent to the President of India, who refused to give assent," Naik said, adding, "Giving assent to the amendment would amount to violation of Supreme Court directives."

Goa government has already banned sale of land to foreigners pointing out to the violations of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

Naik also said that during his new tenure, he would pursue the demand to have separate cadre for land transactions in the state.

"Currently, we have IAS officers under AGMU cadre. These officers have no love for the land. Their interests are only cosmetic... The separate cadre for Goa would solve issues," the MP said.

PTI