‘Right to Home’ on key council’s agenda

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 20, 2017

‘Right to Home’ is likely to be on the agenda for the next meeting of the National Land Reforms Council, slated to be held soon.

In a preparatory meeting to decide the agenda of the Council , land rights activists have demanded that the Government should launch a Centrally-sponsored scheme for homestead rights to provide land for the landless poor.

The Rural Development Minister, Mr Jairam Ramesh, is learnt to have said at the meeting that the suggestion would be conveyed to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh. A meeting of the land reforms council has been pending for the past five years.

Suggestions soon

Mr Ramesh, who chaired the preparatory meeting, told the activists at the meeting that all suggestions for the Council’s agenda should be provided in a week’s time. Secretaries of various Ministries, including Rural Development and Agriculture, were also present in the meeting.

The activists also met the Congress General Secretary, Mr Rahul Gandhi, recently and urged him to put pressure on the Centre to bring a “Right to Home” legislation, modelled on the Right to Work, Right to Food and Right to Information Bills.

The officials said at the meeting that proposals to amend the Benami Transactions (Prohibitions of the Right to Recover Property) Act, 1989 and Special Economic Zones Act, 2005 are already before it. They hoped that by amending these Acts, the Government would be able to check fraudulent land transactions and illegal land holdings.

The Government said it would also conduct a survey of Bhoodan land to settle the disputes over it. “There are pending cases and we were told that the Government is ready to settle such disputes at the earliest,” Council member, Mr P.V. Rajagopal said.

Mr Ramesh said the SEZ Act would be amended to put a ban on exemptions on diversion of land in Scheduled Areas and also on transfers of common property and agricultural land for SEZ purposes.


Published on June 26, 2012

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