According to the Goa government, the people who are in possession of ALVARA lands does not become the owner of the lands unless they pay the required fees to the Goa government. The new development came into the force in the month of December 2016 when the BJP government under the leadership of Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar had decided to implement the new regulations. According to the sources, by a decree (No. 3602) passed in November 1917, the Portuguese allowed parcels of land, under the title of Alvara, to be used for agricultural purposes. Later, Goa government had enacted Goa Land Revenue Code (LRC), 1968 to repeal the decree, but its content remained intact and the Alvara lease mechanism continued.
This might not come as the good news to many Goans who were gifted with the Alvara Lands by Portuguese in 1917 and are in possession of the same till date. The Government of Goa has decided to pass the new ordinance in regards to the ownership rights to the Alvara Lands and in the case of successful implementation of the ordinance people may have to pay the fees which will be depending on the location and class of the land.
According to the sources, this may be one of the most significant decisions taken by ruling government in the favor of Niz Govenkar. Goa Government has decided to pass an ordinance in regards to the regularization of the Alvara Lands in Goa. Alvaras is the pockets of land that were gifted or rewarded by Portuguese rulers to several Goans then in the year 1917. The Government of Goa has now decided to regularize the same with the help of the ordinance. The new development will result in generating the huge revenue for the government coffers.
This is said to be one of the most important decisions taken by the ruling government, that is decided by the State Cabinet. The State Cabinet had approved regularization of all Alvara Grants as Class I occupancy rights on payment of fees and taxes imposed by the government. The Alvara Grants were gifted to several Goan families by the Portuguese around the year 1917. The Council of Ministers resolved to approve the enactment of an amendment to the Goa Land Revenue (Disposal of Government Land) (Eight Amendment) Rule 2016. The government has decided to pass an ordinance in this regard and then introduce it as a Bill in the Assembly.
There are many Goans who are having the Alvara Grants allotted to them by the Portuguese rulers in 1917 and by the virtue of law they should have become the owners of such grants after the 99 years which is not the case and hence Goa government decided to regularize the same. “There are many people having the Alvara grants, but even after 99 years, they have not become owners. Hence, we decided to regularize these by giving them occupancy rights,” said Parsekar.
But there is a small catch. As per the decision of the government, those who’re in possession of the Alvara Grants does not become the owners unless they pay the applicable fees. “As per the decision, those in possession of Alvara grants will become owners once they pay the required fees and taxes as fixed by the government,” Parrsekar added. The chief minister said that the decision on regularizing Alvara grants into Class I occupancy rights are required to be taken in pursuance of the provisions of the Land Revenue Code. “The Land Revenue Code has made provisions for re-classifying occupants as occupant Class I under Section 24 (4),” he explained.
As per the amendment, in the Class ‘A’ municipal areas, the charges would be Rs 150 per sq mtr, in Class B it would be Rs 100 per sq mtr and for the Class C municipalities, the fees would be Rs 80 per sq mtr. Similarly, for Class A panchayats that is the coastal areas, the fees applicable would be Rs 75 per sq mtr, in Class B it would Rs 65 per sq mtr and in Class C panchayats the fees would be Rs 50 per sq mtr.
The Chief Minister also said that the regularization is not mandatory but voluntary in nature and nobody will be forced to go for it “The regularization is not compulsion. It has to be voluntary. We are not going to force anyone. Whoever is interested in converting from Class II to Class I occupants, can apply,” the chief minister clarified. Stating that large illegal transfers of such Alvara grants have taken place, Parsekar said that once occupants become Class I occupant, they would have no restriction to transfer under this Revenue Code. The above decision will surely generate a substantial amount of revenue to the Goa government but it may not be welcomed by many Goans who are already in possession of the huge pieces of land in Goa on paying the fees would create the additional burden on them. There is no clear picture of what will happen if people do not opt for the so-called regularization of the Alvara lands.