The Maharashtra Cabinet today decided that henceforth if entrepreneurs acquire land to start an industry but fail to use it for the purpose within ten years, then the government will take back the land and return it to the farmers.
This decision, however, will not be applicable to the entrepreneurs, who have not acquired land, but have so far failed to start an industry.
"Henceforth, if entrepreneurs fail to start industries even in ten years, the government will take away the land from them and give it back to its owner (farmer)," Maharashtra Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse told reporters here.
So far, there was no provision to give back land to farmers and hence the decision is important, he added.
"The Cabinet has reduced the stipulated period by five years. Entrepreneurs can start actual production within a period of five years from the date of purchase of land. If he fails to do it, he will be given an extension of another five years to start production, on a condition, he would have to pay two per cent surcharge every year calculated on the cost of land," Khadse said.
Speaking separately, State Industries Minister Subhash Desai said, "The decision will be applicable only to the revenue land."
According to the existing provisions, a person who purchases a non-agriculture land, should start an Industry within 15 years.
"However, it has come to the notice of the Industries Department that several industrialists have not started production and instead some of them have changed the purpose of land from industrial to residential," Khadse said.
According to an official from the Industries Department, 90,000 hectares land is in the custody of MIDC.
However, Desai informed that more than 16,000 hectares of land is lying unused and has been taken over by the industry houses without starting production.