April 13, 2024, 8:42 am

Special Correspondent

2023-01-26 09:19:37 BdST

DC’s Permission for Land Mutation: A plot to harass farmers, destabilise govt

Some field-level officials of the administration have hatched a deep-rooted conspiracy to put the government in an awkward situation by complicating the land mutation process, much to the annoyance of farmers.

They are doing ‘excesses’ in the name of implementing the law when anyone goes for selling or buying land.

People allege that the officials concerned are harassing the clients asking them to apply to the deputy commissioner (DC) concerned manually without having any prescribed format for permission for the land mutation. 

They are asking the sellers and buyers of land to take permission of the respective DC for mutation which is a complicated and time-consuming process.

Due to the lengthy process of mutation, the government is losing revenue from the registration of land, one of its major revenue earning sectors.

Although an individual land buyer needs DC’s permission for mutation of land exceeding 60 bighas, a company has to take permission for buying over 100 bighas of land.

The provision is applicable for mutation of land in any district in the country but the people in Dhaka and adjoining areas are worst affected.

Hundreds of applications are pending with the deputy commissioner for months seeking permission of mutation, intensifying the sufferings of the service seekers.

The obligation to take DC’s permission is antithetical to the government’s efforts to digitise Bangladesh, the affected people observed.

“The provision has caused sufferings not only for the buyers but also the sellers. For example, a seller needs to update mutation of his land to sell it to any company. After buying the land, the company has to do mutation in favour of it,” said a landowner, wishing anonymity.

Md Shibli Sadique, ADC (Revenue) of Dhaka, on November 14 last issued a notice asking all concerned to strictly follow the provision in respect of permission from the deputy commissioner for mutation of land.

He also directed for taking legal action against the landowners in case of not complying with the provision.

The letter reads, “It is being noticed that people are not taking permission from the deputy commissioner for mutation of land. As per Section 327 of the Land Management Manual 1990, mutation of land bought by a cooperative society or housing company will be in favour of that cooperative society or company…after receiving application for mutation, the authorities concerned will examine as to whether the buyer has bought land exceeding permitted limit, and whether permission is taken from the authorities concerned in case of buying agricultural land. If the land is bought beyond the limit or without permission, the assistant commissioner concerned will lodge a case to forfeit the land and bring the incident to the notice of the collector. Later, he/she will proceed with the process to forfeit the land and mutation of such land will not take place without permission of the collector. In case of company, it is requested to seek permission from the deputy commissioner in light with section 327 of the Land Management Manual. If the provision is ignored, the delinquent people will face the action.”

Md Mohsin Ali, general manager (land procurement) of United Group, said, “The mutation of land has been made complicated instead of digitisation. Sufferings of land service seekers are longstanding. Despite valid land documents, the service seekers have to face untold harassment. The provision has aggravated the situation and intensified the sufferings.”

The buying, selling, registration and mutation of land have come to a standstill following obligation to seek permission from the deputy commissioner.

“I submitted two applications to the deputy commissioner of Dhaka seeking permission for mutation of land one month ago as a test case. The applications are still shelved. The AC (Land) is yet to get the applications from the DC office. Meanwhile, the cost of registry of land has gone up significantly. The future of huge amount of investment is uncertain.”

Md Abdul Kader, general manager of Jamuna Builders Limited, said, “Companies need to get prior permission from the DC to buy land. After buying, they need to get permission from the DC again for mutation. Why is permission required twice? People are being discouraged to buy land and the government is losing revenue. If the situation continues, the country will not see industrial investments.”

Entrepreneurs said the DC’s permission provision is designed to block industrialisation, investment, employment and economic development of the country.

Farmers and common people who are badly in need to sell their land for different reasons, including meeting educational expenses of their children, sending them abroad for job or initiating any business, are being affected by the administrative move.

The provision is akin to “killing two birds with one stone” as it will annoy common people and put the government in trouble, they observed.

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