Did you know that in India if an owner wants to use his agricultural land for purposes other than farming land conversion is a legal necessity? Land conversion is primarily because of two reasons – the economy in India is based largely on agriculture and unless the land in use has been changed by the owner, every land falls under the agricultural category. Secondly, the tax imposed on land depends on its use.
Getting Agricultural Land Converted: Reasons And Process
While there is no tax imposed on owners of agricultural land, owners who are using their land for residential, commercial, and industrial purposes need to pay taxes on their annual income through this asset. Based on the two broad reasons, the ‘land use’ of a land parcel should be changed following all pre-set guidelines if you want to use the land for purposes other than farming. This process is also referred to as district collector (DC) conversion.
How To Apply For Land Use Change ?
Since land is a state subject, all the states have their own set of guidelines with respect to land-use change. Conversion of agricultural land serves various purposes and is important for the government and law.
While it is the authority of the revenue department to award land-use change in some states, the responsibility lies with the planning authority in some other states. Typically, the applicant is required to submit an application to the district collector, the district commissioner, and the sub-divisional officer or the tehsildar of his city to get the land conversion certificate.
Authorities That Grant Land Use Conversion Certificate
State Land conversion authority
1.Andhra Pradesh Tehsildar/ revenue divisional officer
2.Bihar Sub-divisional officer
5.Maharashtra District collector
6.Karnataka Commissioner Land revenue dept
8.Rajasthan Tehsildar/ sub-divisional officer
9.Uttar Pradesh Sub-Divisional Magistrate
10.Tamil Nadu Directorate of Town and Country Planning
In some states where the power to allow land conversion isn’t designated to a specific authority, then the landowner has to approach the district collector or the district magistrate to receive a land conversion certificate.
Why Is Conversion Certificate Important ?
1. A landowner is legally bound to change the land use if he plans to use his land for a purpose other than what he is legally allowed. For instance, running a business activity from a property that is meant for residential use or building a house on a land parcel that is meant for farming is illegal. The authority in your area has the right to not only impose a penalty on you but also demolish the property if the conversion is not done after multiple warnings.
2.To steer clear of all hurdles, it’s of utmost importance that a conversion certificate should be applied and received before the owner starts using his property for other purposes.
3.According to Prabhanshu Mishra, a Lucknow-based lawyer, who is specialized in property law, The owner will have to produce all documents establishing ownership over the immovable asset irrespective of the fact that he/she is the legal owner and have the land in possession. The concerned authorities can refuse to entertain the request in the absence of even the most non-significant documents. This will delay the whole process and also amount to a big hassle. Hence, ensure that all papers required are attached along with the application for land conversion requests.
Process To Apply For Land Use Conversion Certificate
Step 1: Approach the authority under whose jurisdiction the land to be converted falls. Then write an application addressing the officer, requesting for conversion. Also, ensure that all the necessary details mentioned in the application are correct.
Step 2: Along with the application, the landowner should attach copies of all the supporting documents. The owner must carry the original copies of all these documents along for verification purposes. If the application is accepted, you will be then required to pay a fee and a receipt would be issued to you stating the particulars.
Step 3: After the verification of your application, the officer will forward your application to the concerned officials, who will both examine the documents and also carry a physical inspection of the site.
Step 4: A conversion certificate would be issued to you, once the officials are satisfied that every criterion is met and you are eligible for land conversion.
Step 5: Once the conversion of the land is done, the revenue department will make the required changes in the government records so that it reflects the land-use change.
Step 6: Once you receive the land conversion certificate, you have a time of one year to make the changes with regard to your land-use change. If there is a failure in doing so within the specified time, the conversion of land will be withdrawn and the money paid for the conversion will be forfeited.
Can I Apply For Land Use Change Online?
The majority of states issue land conversion certificates manually barring some states, which include Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, and West Bengal.
Process To Apply For Land Use Conversion Certificate Online
Here is an example of how you can apply online for land conversion, in Karnataka.
Step 1: Log on to https://landrecords.karnataka.gov.in/
Step 2: Using your Aadhaar number as the login, you need to fill in the details like a record of rights, tenancy, and crops (RTC) along with the duly sworn-in affidavit. You will also have to submit a copy of the 11E sketch in case a part of the property is to be converted.
Step 3: After submitting all of the necessary documents successfully, the department will issue a land conversion certificate in a month after which an official will go for a physical inspection of the land and send a positive report.
List Of Documents Required
While the list of documents required may vary from state to state, there are some key documents that you will have to submit along with the application are:
- Identity proof
- Copy of sale deed
- Copy of title deed
- RTC (record of rights, tenancy, and crops)
- Copy of partition deed (in case the land has been inherited)
- Copy of mutation certificate
- Copy of survey map
- Copy of land record
- Receipt of payment of land revenue
- Past receipt of bill payments
- Proof of occupancy
How Much Time Does Land Conversion Take?
Land conversion certificates are granted one month after the applicant makes his request in places where land use changes are now processed electronically (such as in Karnataka).
In places where the procedure is still done manually, it could take many months before the applicant receives a conversion certificate. If the applicant doesn’t present all the required paperwork while submitting the application, the procedure might potentially be delayed. Recognize the papers you will require to complete the conversion and prepare them before you submit your application to prevent being stuck in a back-and-forth mess.
Land Conversion Charges
Land conversions involve one-time land conversion charges. Charges for land-use changes, and can differ from state to state, district to district in a state, and even area to area in a district. In case of a residential change, the charges may be varying from Rs 100 to Rs 500 in different states. However, in New Delhi, the land conversion charges range between Rs 14,328 to Rs 24,777 per square meter. The Bihar government, on the other hand, charges land conversion fees of 10% of the land value.
Do note here that the charges will be higher if you are converting the land for industrial or commercial use when compared to the conversion of land for residential use.