Laws pertaining to land, both State and privately owned, are to be amended to allow for uncultivated and abandoned agricultural land to be cultivated.
Relevant land related legislation includes the Land Development Ordinance and the State Land Ordinance.
State Minister of Lands, T.B. Ekanayake said that the Land Division of the Ministry of Lands and the Land Commissioner General’s Department were involved in drafting the amendments.
When queried as to whether private stakeholders had been consulted in proposing the amendments, he added that he assumed that such consultations would have taken place or would take place.
President Maithripala Sirisena recently stated that as part of the Vaga Sangramaya programme of the Government which is to be launched soon with the intention of increasing the country’s food production, new regulations would be proposed to acquire agricultural lands under State and private ownership which were not being cultivated. Government land which are not being cultivated too would fall within the ambit of the said new programme.
According to President Sirisena, a gazette notification is to be issued in this regard under the existent laws and such lands would be granted to those willing to cultivate them. As part of the programme that has been mooted, lands affected by droughts too are also to be brought back to normal conditions. – RLJ