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One of the first issues of the newly independent India was land reforms. As a country whose economy primarily is based on agriculture, the leaders of independent India had to ensure that the land was not held by the wealthy and that there was an equitable distribution of land to reduce economic disparities by minimizing inequalities in land ownership and income.  

Land reform necessitates the redistribution of agricultural land in India if the distribution is unequal or not equitable. Taking extra lands from large holdings and redistributing them among the landless and small landholders is one strategy to minimize inequality.  

The land is the country’s single most limited resource. Due to the scarcity of resources, tensions arise between residents of a given region. The lack of available land in cities stymies the development process. To address this issue, the Indian government enacted the Urban Land Ceiling Act of 1976. In India, the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act was passed in 1976 with the goal of limiting property rising prices and promoting low-income housing through urban land socialization.   

Why ULC Act?  

A person is only allowed to own a certain amount of land under this act. A land ceiling refers to the maximum amount of land that a person can own. The act establishes a ceiling on empty land in urban agglomerations by definition, trying to prevent the land acquisition in excess of what the development agency has approved.  

The regulations established a “ceiling” on how much land an individual or business may own, allowing the government to redistribute surplus land to the landless. Even though land reform goals have not been accomplished, the new amendments reversed these protections. 

Following are some reasons of why ULC Act came into picture:-  

  • To promote the common good by making land available to the public. 
  • There was a pattern of building luxury complexes with rare building materials that needed            to be stopped, which is why the ULC Act was enacted. 
  • India was a poor country that needed to be transformed. The goal of the ULC was to              maintain consistency in the country’s urbanization efforts.  

Some features of the Urban Land (Ceiling & Regulation) Act, 1976:  

  1. Its object is the vesting of ceiling excess lands in urban areas and distribution of it for the public interest. 

  2. Statutory Exemption: – Lands that are held by the Government of India, State Government, and Welfare Organization are all exempted from ceiling limit.

  3. The government can distribute lands to an individual or organization such as educational, social, etc. for the public interest. 

Benefits or Advantages of Urban Land Ceiling: 

  1. Land ceiling tries to erase inequality in respect of ownership of land and decreases inequality of income.
  2. It prevents the concentration of land in the hands of a few people.
  3. It provides self- employment to the landless people who are considered as agricultural labourers.
  4. The lands, which are distributed, are under cultivation also. Therefore, these lands provide food security to them.
  5. People who had no lands, they can lead to peace and a good life. 
  6. Prevent the construction of luxury dwellings, which results in the waste of rare building materials, and to ensure that such materials get used fairly. 
  7. To ensure that urbanization gets carried out in a safe and orderly manner.

What is the purpose of the Land Ceiling Act?  

The act’s primary purpose was to prohibit land hoarding or excessive land ownership in urban agglomerations by a few people, allowing for proper distribution and consistent development of all urban sectors. 

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