The collector's nod, which was so far mandatory, had given rise to complaints of undue delays and corruption. The move will pare both, officials said. By rough estimates, tens of thousands of hectares will be unlocked because of the cabinet's Wednesday decision. The state cabinet decision to simplify conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural use will benefit the municipal corporations and councils in Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan-Dombivli, Ulhasnagar, Vasai-Virar, Nalasopara, Ambernath, Kulgaon-Badlapur, Panvel, Alibaug, among other places.
"Land owners will have to seek the permission of the municipal body for their non-agricultural plans.
Once the municipal corporation or municipal council gives the go-ahead, the owner just needs to intimate the collector within 30 days. No permission from the collector is required. Revenue officials will then recover a onetime land conversion tax and a non-agriculture cess," said an official after the state cabinet approved the move.
This process will apply to those who are direct owners of the land. For those who have leased land from the government, the collector's permission is still required, though the conversion procedure has been made simpler for them as well. "The leaseholder will have to offer a certain share of the profitable deal on the land to the government," said an official.
According to sources, masses of application for In rural areas, a databank will be created to speedily dispose of the masses of land conversion applications land conversion to non-agricultural use are pending, particularly in Mumbai region and around, stalling development. In rural areas, where there are no municipal corporations or councils, revenue officials will now be asked to create a databank of conversion applications, so that decisions can be made quickly , another official said.