Bill divides land into 11 categoriesAn amendment bill to the Land Act 1964 has divided land into 11 categories based on their use.
An amendment bill to the Land Act 1964 has divided land into 11 categories based on their use.
The categories are agricultural, residential, commercial, industrial, mines and construction materials extraction sector, cultural and archaeological importance, river and lake area, forests, public utilities and specified other sectors.
The existing Act has categorised land on the basis of paddy production into four groups — abbal (first grade), doyam (second grade), sim (third grade) and chahar (fourth grade). The bill, which has been registered at the Parliament, states the land divisions would be done based on structure, nature, productivity and existing use.
As agriculture land is increasingly being used to build houses, the government went ahead with the new categorisation so that land could be used for whatever purpose.
According to the Land Use Policy 2013, agriculture covers 27 percent of the land, forests hold 39.6 percent, grazing land 12 percent, snow and boulder region 17.2 percent, and watershed areas 2.6 percent.
Due to the failure to categorise land based on uses, there is growing trend of encroachment of public land, according to the policy, while agriculture land is being destroyed, land holding practices have resulted in barren land. The policy has divided land into six categories — agricultural, settlement, commercial, industrial, forests and public utility.
The proposed amendment has also planned to effectively implement the provision of ceiling on land holding.
For the purpose, the new Act seeks to reward informers who file complaints against those holding land beyond the prescribed limit.
Currently, the land ownership ceiling has been fixed at 10 bighas. As per the provision, a person can hold up to 10 bigaha land in Tarai, including inner Tarai. The ceiling for the Kathmandu valley is 25 ropanies, while it is fixed at 70 ropanies in other hilly regions.
The proposed Act would give continuity to the confiscation of land by the state if a person holds land beyond the prescribed limit. It plans to provide 25 percent of the confiscated land to the person who will provide information about such land holders.