New law for sharecroppers this year: Minister

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government will enact a new law for the benefit of sharecroppers this year, Revenue Minister Bijayshree Routray announced here on Sunday.

“Though it is their right, sharecroppers are not getting any benefits. Only land owners are getting the Agriculture Input subsidy. Therefore, this year, we will bring a law which will benefit sharecroppers,” said Routray.

Meanwhile, concerned over large scale farmer suicide cases across the country, the Centre has convened a meeting of NITI Aayog with Revenue Secretaries of all States in New Delhi on January 8 to discuss the issue.

Sources said the meeting is likely to discuss ways to stop farmers’ suicide, development of farmers as well as provide more benefits to sharecroppers.

The Centre has already formed a committee led by former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Cost and Prices to allocate more benefits to sharecroppers.

Former Chief Secretary Sudhansu Bhusan Mishra said, “As per the Odisha Land Reforms Act, common people cannot have sharecroppers. Therefore, sharecroppers have no legal identity.”

“The State government is likely to raise how the sharecroppers can get loans at nominal interest and other government benefits before the NITI Aayog committee,” he said.