Monday July 23, 2018

Sri Lanka to relax paddy lands law for housing

Jun 14, 2017 18:08 PM GMT+0530 | 4 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s government has decided to relax regulations that ban development of paddy fields used for growing rice in response to rising demand for housing in the rapidly urbanising society.

Under-utilised lots, especially abandoned and uncultivated paddy lands, could be made available for housing, under a proposal by Sajith Premadasa, Minister of Housing and Construction, approved by the Cabinet of Ministers this week.

The Cabinet approved a decision -making process proposed by Premadasa under which the National Housing Development Authority will convene a team of government officials who will vet and approve applications to use disused paddy lands for housing.

The government in recent years had introduced several safeguards to prevent constant threats to agricultural land and forest .reserves from development needs, according to the proposal.

One such safeguard, implemented by the Commissioner-General of Agrarian Services of the Ministry of Agriculture, is a complete ban on the development of paddy lands.

Premadasa has said this safeguard needs to be enforced while taking into account rising demand for housing, including measures to promote use of underutilized lots.

Premadasa said the current safeguards prohibiting use of paddy lots are “too rigidly enforced” with filling up of some lands whose names are associated with rice cultivation being rejected outright, although they cannot be cultivated now.

“Such rejections have adversely affected the development of human settlements especially in the western province and in other rapidly urbanizing areas,” Premadasa said.
(COLOMBO, June 14, 2017)



  1. lankaman October 13, 03:12 AM

    The agrarian societies that are consisted of corrupt govt officials land robbers are using this law to deprive rightful landowners their right to develop abandoned and uncultivated paddy lands and sell it for a reasonable price. Hope this will sort out the problem

  2. Ish June 15, 06:27 AM

    This is mere stipidity. There paddy fields were the proven water absobers in the times of heavy rain. If we fill them and put up buildings we will see more frequent flash flooding. There should be a proper scientific study done on water dreinage paths and patterns before taking a decision like this.

  3. Nimal June 14, 07:47 AM

    Yes abolish it altogether and end this modern serfdom. Control freaks in society have controlled these land belonging to other people long enough.

  4. BW June 14, 07:31 AM

    Very good Minister Premadasa. Your father moved millions out of thatched cottages. Now you can abolish this disgraceful law that kept people in a serfdom and free them finally from the land.
    Growing other crops, buidling houses or factories on paddy lands is a victim less crime that is shameful for a modern republic to have on its statute books. Only people with political connection who bought paddy lands from poor people for a song were able to fill them earlier.Now everyone who owns them will be able to fill them and get a proper price add value to the country and create new jobs. Bravo.

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