Inter-ministerial meet on land leasing law inconclusive

Bhubaneswar: The inter-ministerial meeting, which was convened for the third time to discuss the proposed Land Leasing Act, failed to reach any conclusion today due to difference of opinion. The meeting has been rescheduled for June 1.

“A discussion on the benefits of landlord and farmer was held today. But, the three-hour long meeting with participation of cooperation, law, agriculture, revenue and panchayati raj ministers remained inconclusive due to different views of the ministers”, Agriculture minister Damodar Rout said.

On the other hand, the proposed new legislation, a copy of which is with OTV, stated that an agreement would be signed between land owner and sharecropper in presence of two witnesses and the pact would be approved by the local tehsildar or Revenue Inspector (RI) or Sarpanch. The contract would remain valid for three years, the Act stated.

The new law further maintained that landlord can neither make undue interference in the affairs of the land occupied by the farmer nor give sub-lease to any other. He would have to deposit the land revenue and water tax, the Act stated.

The land owner would take his share from the total production of the land as per the norms of the pact signed by both the parties. He can cancel the sublease if the sharecropper violates any of the terms mentioned in the agreement.

The new law has, however, allowed the land owner to donate, sell or mortgage even during the lease period. He can utilise the land to avail agriculture loan, crop insurance and assistance during natural calamities.

“The new act would safeguard the interest of both sharecropper and land owners. A discussion on the issue was held today. It was referred to Law department for further examination”, Cooperation minister Surya Narayan Patro said.