Legislation will be in operation for seven years :

The Government will present the State Lands (Special Provisions) Bill in Parliament next month to grant absolute title to state lands held by citizens who are holders of grants or instruments of disposition.

Lands and Parliamentary Reforms Minister Gayantha Karunathilake will present the Bill in Parliament for the first reading. The legislation will be in operation for a period of seven years.

Those holding of different types of land grants and permits for more than 10 years will be benefited by the new legislation.

The provisions of this Act apply to holders of “grants under the provisions of the Land Development Ordinance, instruments of disposition under the provisions of the Land Grants (Special Provisions) Act, and instruments of disposition of lands under the Crown Lands Ordinance granted for agricultural purposes or colonization schemes”. “Colonization schemes” includes any scheme implemented by Land Commissioner’s Department to settle families on State land.

Those holding different types of land grants and permits are entitled to apply and be eligible to get an Absolute Land Grant up to five acres in extent under the provisions of this Act. Any balance extent of the said land will be held by the Applicant under the relevant land grant or instrument of disposition, with its bounds assigned separately.

A 20-member ‘Land Grants Committee’ consisting of Ministry Secretaries, Heads of relevant institutions and two nominees of the President and the Prime Minister will be appointed for the administration of this Act.

The Committee will forward its observations to the Land Minister on all applications for Absolute Land Grants and the relevant documents, and the minister will forward them to the President. Once the President issues the Absolute Land Grants, those will be registered in the Land Registry.

The grantee of an Absolute Land Grant will have the right of transfer of the land to the heirs or with the consent of all heirs in writing to sell such land to any person. However, any land which is used for paddy cultivation can be sold only to another farmer.

The Absolute Land Grant issued by the President will be conclusive proof of absolute title to that land. It will be admissible and valid before any court, institution or authority for any transaction, business, transfer of title, as security for a bond or for any other purpose.



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