BHUBANESWAR: The legislation to protect the interest of sharecroppers may not see the light of the day soon as the State Government is yet to resolve several issues before it can table a Bill in this regard in the Assembly. The statement of Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management Maheswar Mohanty on Tuesday that it is a sensitive issue has given an hint that the Government is not in a hurry to bring any legislation in this regard. “Legislation for sharecroppers is a sensitive issue, it will be finalised keeping in mind the rights of landlords and sharecroppers,” the Minister said and added that the Government will deal with it cautiously.
The State Government needs to amend the existing Odisha Land Reforms Act to make the Act on cultivating another person’s land legal. However, the Committee of Ministers (COM) formed to resolve the issues has not met since several months. The committee had last met in August, 2017.The committee, which was headed by Mohanty, has already met three times without arriving at a conclusion in this regard. Though it was announced after the last meeting that the committee will meet again to deliberate the issue, it never materialised.
Official sources said as per the Odisha Land Reforms Act absentee ownership of agricultural land is not legal and there is risk for the owner that his land will be taken away by the Government if it is proved. Another major issue which needs to be resolved is how to distribute the produce between sharecroppers and owners of agricultural land. The State Government had recently announced a scheme to provide loans to the landless farmers by the cooperative societies through the joint liability groups.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday reviewed the achievements of the Revenue and Disaster Management Department at a high-level meeting in the Secretariat. Official sources said as per the survey made in 2015, as many as 1,10,730 homesteadless families have been identified out of which 1,07,893 have been provided house sites.