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Green light to land policy

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ACHINTYA GANGULY   |   Published 25.08.13, 12:00 AM

Ranchi, Aug. 24: Representatives of 40 civil society organisations from across the state today hailed the land reforms policy drafted at the national level. They had assembled at Social Development Centre in Ranchi for a consultation on the policy.

“For the first time, the Centre has drafted a policy on providing agricultural and homestead plots to the landless and also those who owns less than one acre. People present today favoured the policy,” said Ramesh Sharma, a member of the National Land Reforms Task Force.

Sharma has attended such consultations in other states too.

Speaking about the significance of such reforms, he added the policy would help experts know how much land was available and the exact number of landless people.

“The draft also safeguards the interests of people and covers provisions of existing and proposed laws like Forest Rights Act and Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act or PESA,” said Rashmi Katyayan, an advocate who also serves as adviser to many civil society organisations.

Following a jana satyagraha led by Ekta Parishad, an alliance of over 2,000 civil society organisations, the Centre formed the National Land Reforms Task Force under the Union rural development ministry in October last year.

The task force, with Jairam Ramesh as its chairperson. formulated the draft policy and uploaded it on government websites. It invited comments, suggestions, amendments and feedback before giving the plan a final shape.

Representatives from civil society organisations have had held such consultations in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha. Another will be held in Bihar tomorrow.

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