PANAJI: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday termed Goa’s Agricultural Land Bill as a “historic” legislation, and congratulated the Pramod Sawant-led state government for passing it.
The Goa Restriction on Transfer of Agricultural Land Bill 2023 was passed in the recent budget session of the state Assembly.
Talking to reporters, BJP’s state unit spokesperson Giriraj Vernekar said, “We congratulate the government on passing this bill. The bill ensures protection of Goa’s paddy fields by imposing restrictions on the transfer of certain agricultural lands in the state so as to preserve and protect the land which is presently being used for the cultivation of paddy.” Earlier, there were limited restrictions on who could buy paddy fields, and the sale of such paddy fields, especially to non-Goans, had raised the property prices, he said.
“This bill acts in favour of genuine farmers. It will ensure that paddy fields are cultivated and not used for purposes other than agriculture,” he added.
Paddy fields in Goa are one of its biggest attractions, the BJP leader said.
“With this landmark bill, the BJP government will ensure the protection of such paddy fields for Goa’s future generations. However, even as the bill is in Goa’s best interests, the opposition parties are opposing it. While the BJP government is taking many steps to save the state’s identity, the opposition parties are against these measures to save their own identity,” he added.