BHUBANESWAR: With no institutional framework to support the crop loss compensation claim of sharecroppers, the BJP on Friday asked the State Government to promulgate an ordinance recognising their rights to the relief measures.“As the tenancy arrangements in the State are primarily informal in nature leaving tenants insecure, the State Government’s decision to identify sharecroppers through villages committees for payment of compensation is not only impractical but impossible to implement as it is not backed by law,” said senior BJP leader and former Law Minister Biswabhusan Harichandan.
Coming down heavily on the State Government for its failure to pass a legislation concerning agricultural tenancy, Harichandan said the series of packages announced by it will no way benefit the sharecroppers without supporting provisions.If the Government is really concerned about the sharecroppers, it must promulgate an ordinance to recognise their rights. Since the Assembly is not in session, the State Government has no option but to take the ordinance route before legislating an appropriate law for according tenancy rights, the senior BJP leader said.
The State Government’s announcement to provide subsidised agricultural inputs and other assistance to actual cultivators for crop loss due to drought and pest attack is another false promise as the existing law does not support it, he said.Though the Government announced separate packages for drought and pest attack in haste to save it from public anger, implementation of relief measures will be possible only after arrival of the crop cutting reports, Harichandan said.
It has been more than three years that the State Government is planning to bring a legislation to protect the interest of the sharecroppers. An inter-ministerial committee has been constituted for preparation of a draft bill. However, the committee has failed to reach at a consensus on many contentious issues. This shows the seriousness of the Government towards sharecroppers, he said.
Attributing the rising number of farmers’ suicide to the anti-farmers policy of the State Government, the former minister urged the Chief Minister to accepts his government’s failure by recognising reported cases of suicides and providing adequate compensation to their affected families.
The BJP has been demanding cash compensation of `10 lakh to families of the farmers who ended their lives due to crop loss.