Govt to set up National Land Reform Council

November 14th, 2007 - 3:03 am ICT by admin  
This was decided in response to the demand of over 25,000 tribals from 18 states, who arrived here on Sunday, demanding their right to livelihood through redistribution of land and a comprehensive land policy.

The tribals traversed around 320 kilometers in their epic journey, which began from Gwalior on October 2, the birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation-Mahatma Gandhi.

They had planned to march to the Parliament today, but were stopped.

The council will update and computerise all land records in the next five years.

Union Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, after his meeting on the matter with the Prime Minister earlier today, addressed thousands of displaced people mainly landless tribals in the evening.

The Prime Minister will head the committee, which will supervise the implementation of a new land reforms policy, Raghuvansh Prasad said.

He further said that another committee would be headed by him called the Committee on State-Agrarian Relations and Unfinished Land Reforms.

”There will be a committee for land reforms and will work within the given timeframe,” Prasad said.

The committee would be constituted in a month’s time.

He also said that a National Resettlement Rehabilitation Policy Act and the Land Acquisition Act amendments would be discussed.

“Within two days, we will be giving the notification,” he said.

The policy will address whatever fears and conflict due to SEZs (Special Economic Zones).

“The policy has the solution to all these problems. It has steps for rehabilitation before displacement and pro-farmer, pro-poor policy,” said Prasad.

The tribals, who are basically forest dwellers, were forced out of their natural habitats after forests were declared as state property in 1947.

The tribals are the poorest and most marginalised community in India, with the worst social and health indicators. They make up around eight per cent of 1.1-billion country’s population. (ANI)

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