There are many people who may be unaware of the fact that if any person wants to use agriculture land for any other purpose than farming then he/she is required to take the permission from authorities for the same. Even a farmer cannot use agriculture land for any other purpose than farming. The major reason behind this is that India’s economic factor largely depends upon agriculture and unless the land use has been changed by owner, then all the lands will continue to falls under the category of agriculture.

Secondly, tax imposition as we all know that there is no tax on agriculture land but if owner started to use the land for other purposes like residential, commercial and industrial so on then tax liability is imposed on the owner by the authorities. So, if you want to use your land for other purposes then you are required to obtain Change of Land Use (CLU) by following prescribed guidelines. Here are the highlights of the whole process of CLU.

Where to apply?

Land is a subject matter of State list as per Indian Constitution so States are empowered to make rules relating to the land issues. All the states have set their own set of regulations for conversion of land. Some states authorized Revenue Department to issue CLU, whereas many states put this responsibility on Planning Authorities for instance PUDA (Punjab Urban Planning & Development Authority) is empowered to issue CLU in Punjab.

The applicant desiring so will have to submit an application to the Concerned Authority, District Collector, The District Commissioner, the Sub-Divisional Officer or the Tehsildar of the concerned area to get the certificate of land use. The land owner has to approach the District Magistrate or the District Collector to receive the conversion certificate in absence of any specific authority.

Step wise process to apply for CLU:-

Here are the various steps to be followed to get conversion certificate:-

  • Approach the concerned Authority or Department: – The first foremost step to the approach the concerned Department or Authority for conversion of land. The applicant will have to submit an application for conversion along with supporting documents.
  • Payment of fee: – Once the application for conversion got accepted then applicant is required to pay requisite fee. The receipt of payment will be issued by the concerned Department or Authority to the owner.
  • Physical inspection: – After verification of the application, the concerned Authority or Department will forward the file to the concerned officer for physical inspection of the site and examination of the documents.
  • Issuance of certificate: – Once the concerned Authority or Department got contended that all the criteria are met and owner is eligible for conversion then they will issue a certificate of land use.
  • Entry in revenue records: – On completion of conversion, the Revenue Department would make entry in the records to reflect the change of land use.       

List of required documents:-

The documents supporting your claim are required for the conversion of the land. The requirement of documents depends upon the land and proposed change. The different states have prescribed different documents for conversion of land. Here is the list of some important documents:-

  • Copy of sale deed
  • Latest copies of Jamabandis
  • Identity proof
  • Copy of partition deed if land has been inherited
  • Copy of mutation certificate
  • Copy of survey map
  • Receipt of payment of land revenue
  • Proof of occupancy
  • Record of rights, tenancy and crops
  • Letter of authorization in case of co-share holders/joint owners of the land
  • Non-encumbrance certificate

How much is the fees?

The charges for change of land use may vary from state to state, district to district in a state and area to area in a district. In New Delhi the conversion charges are on higher side, whereas the Bihar Govt. levies 10 % of the land value as conversion fee.  It is relevant to point out here that charges are higher for converting agriculture land into commercial or industrial land as compared to residential change.

For instance, in Punjab processing fee for first acre is Rs. 5000/- and every subsequent acre the fee is Rs. 1000/-. The rates for CLU are classified according to the property and locality in Punjab.

Can we apply via online mode?

Majority of the states issue land conversion certificates by hand. But the states like Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana and West Bengal are positive in adopting the online mode for this process.

How much time it takes?

In states where the whole process is carried out via online mode, it takes one month to get the certificate once the applicant submits his/her request. On the flip side, in state where it is done manually may take several months. The person intended so must arrange all the required documents in advance before making application so as to avoid delay in the process.

How much time is allowed to make changes after obtaining CLU?

Once the owner got conversion certificate he/she has to make changes in the land within the period of one year on receipt of certificate. On not making changes within the prescribed period the issued certificate will be withdrawn i.e. stand cancelled and paid fees will be forfeited.

Why it is required so?

It is always advisable to be ready before the problem may arise. It is truly applied in the case of Change of Land Use just to avoid the future hassles. For instance, if any builder wants to construct residential building project on the agriculture land then it is necessary to obtain Change of Land Use. As for RERA approval of the project it is also required to submit CLU if use of land has been changed for the purpose of project. In the absence of CLU the concerned authority in the area has right to not only impose penalty but also to demolish the property if conversion is not done after numerous warnings.

So, to avoid these obstacles it is recommended to obtain conversion certificate before starting the use of the land for other purposes.

-Kiranpreet Kaur

Associate at Aggarwals & Associates, S.A.S. Nagar, Mohali