Historical Background


In 2021 B. S. a ministry of land reform was set up with 3 directorates:  (I) the directorate of land reform, (ii) the directorate of cooperatives and (iii) the directorate of Cadastral survey. In 2022 B. S. the ministry was enlarged to include three more directorates:  (IV) The directorate of food, (v) the directorate of agriculture, and (VI) the directorate of Land Administration. In 2027 B.S. . It was split up into two ministries: (i) the ministry of Food and Agriculture which regrouped the directorates of Food and Agriculture, and (ii) the ministry of Panchayat, Home and Land Reform which regrouped the other Directorates.

Within the latter Ministry, the Land Reform and Land Administration Directorates are more directly responsible for the implementation of the Act 2021 B.S.  Since 2043 B.S., the ministry has been recognized as ministry of Land Reform and Management.

Nepal has its long history on land management sector from Vaidic period. The land is taken as the main property of the state in Vedas, Manusmriti, Mahabharat and Kautilya's economics. The fact the state would collect a fixed amount of revenue depicts that the land administration was controlled by the state in the past time as well.The practice of land revenue collection, maintainance of land records, distribution of collected amount to the employees and using the rest amount for the state affairs had begun many years ago. In Lichchhabi rule, the land administration was regulated by Gaun Panchali. The Malla rule introduced the system of purchase of land, land survey and land classification on the basis of productivity. Ram Shah, the king of Gurkha Kingdom, started land record maintainance system by dividing the land type into various units like hale, kodale, mato muri, bijan, mana etc.The land survey was started in 1930 B.S. The chains were used to measure both of the lands of terai region and farms of hilly region whereas occular measurement was applied for rest of the other parts. The land was categorized as hale, pate, kute and kodale on the basis of the tools used there, and the land records were developed on the basis of such categorization.

The Mal Adda was established in 1953 B.S. The Pota Registration Adda, which was established in 1978 B.S., carried out the functions like, approval of written documents (Likhat Parit), Namsari, Dhakhil Kharij, Lagat Katta, collection of land revenue, allocation of budget to governmental offices and account keeping. After this, the governmental offices working on land administration began to develop structurally.The map based land recording system was started after the establishment of Cadastral Survey in Bhaktapur district in 1980 B.S. The Survey Goswara was established in Kathmandu in 1996 B.S. The Survey Department and the Department of Land Revenue were established respectively in 2014 B.S. and 2016 B.S. The district level Land Revenue Offices were established after the political division of the Kingdom into 75 districts.The significant works undertaken in land related sector after the dawn of democracy are given below:Years (B.S.) Activities 2008 Drafted Bhumidari Adhikar Prapti Kanoon and Foumulated the Commission for Land Assessment   

2009 Formulated the Commission for Land Reformation

2012 Declared 13 term Plan on Land Reformation

2013 Prepared Land and Land Tenancy Records Act

2014 Prepared Land Related Act

2016 Prepared Birta Unmulan Ain

2019 Prepared Land Survey and Measurement Act

2021 Prepared Land Related Act

The Birta Unmulan Ain that came into effect in  Paush 1, 2016 B.S. eliminated the birta jaggas and ended the practice of the feudal system of illegal encroachment of the land without paying the government the required revenue.After Land Survey and Measurement Act, 2019 B.S., came into effect, the maintenance of map based land records system was taken into practice. The general objectives of this act were preparation of up to date land-ownership records that were essential for the collection of land revenues, collection of the tenants and land mensuration works (esp. needed for land reformation program). Similarly, the Land Related Act, 2021 B.S. came into effect with the objectives such as rapid economic development through the proper utilization of land resources, improvement of the livlihood of the land dependant peasants through the equal distribution of agricultural land, and providing them with the easy access of essential knowledge and required tools for the encouragement of farming and high productivity.After the establishment of Land Reform Department in 2021 Kartik 15 B.S., the Land Reform program was carried out nationwide in 75 districts in three distinct phases: 16 districts in the first phase, 25 districts in the second phase and 34 districts in the third phase.

The Land Administration Act came into effect in 2024 B.S. with the objective of updating the land transactions and records in those districts where cadastral survey work had been completed. The Act provided the land Administration Offices with the authority to execute the works conveyed by the Land Reform Offices and Land Revenue Offices both. After this, the land records system was revised on the basis of new survey in 9 districts in the beginning but this practice was applied in all of the 75 districts later on.The Guthi Corporation was established in 2021 B.S. with the objective of raj guthi management. Under the provisions of Guthi Corporation Act, 2033, this corporation has been administering and managing all of the raj guthis till now. The Land Revenue Act, 2034, prepared for carrying out effective land management, provided the Land revenue Offices the authority to conduct the works conveyed by Mal Adda and Kosh and Tahisil offices, and to carry out the rest of the works operated by Land Reform Offices. With the commencement of Land Revenue Act, 2034, the broad land management area was opened, such as collection of Land Revenue, Land Registration establishment of Land Revenue Offices. After this, the Malpot Offices were gradually replaced by Land Revenue Offices. The Department of Land Revenue, which was working under the Ministry of Finance, was included under the Ministry of Land Reform and Management in 2044 B.S. with the objective of structural development on land administration and management sector. Likewise, the Department of Land Reform and the Department of Land Revenue were unified into a single Department called Department of Land Reform and Management in 2057/3/26 B.S.