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    No exemption under any land-related Act for setting up a business enterprise: Chandra Mohan Patowary

    Synopsis

    State government claimed it has taken comprehensive steps to protect Assam's border and Smart Fencing in the disputed Latitila area is on the verge of completion. Likewise, Composite Fencing will be completed soon in Tukurgram, Jawainpur and Lakhi Bazar border areas along Indo-Bangladesh border.

    Agencies
    Chandra Mohan Patowary.
    GUWAHATI: With concerns raised from different quarters regarding proposed micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) ordinance may jeopardize the land rights of indigenous people, Assam government has decided to add a provision in the draft MSME Ordinance that all the provisions of the Assam Agricultural Land (Regulation of Reclassification and Transfer for Non-Agricultural Purpose) Act, 2015 and other land laws will have to be followed and adhered for setting up of any enterprise.

    And no exemption will be given under the Act or any land related Act for any business initiative or business enterprise.

    State government claimed it has taken comprehensive steps to protect Assam's border and Smart Fencing in the disputed Latitila area is on the verge of completion. Likewise, Composite Fencing will be completed soon in Tukurgram, Jawainpur and Lakhi Bazar border areas along Indo-Bangladesh border.

    Assam Industries and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary stated that a section of people still continued to express their concern about the protection of rights of indigenous people over the land.

    In this backdrop to address the issues and concerns, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal convened a meeting on July 7 to discuss the provisions of the draft Ordinance related to use of land. Ramesh Chandra Borpatra Gohain, Advocate General attended the meeting.

    The minister added that after detailed discussion, it was unanimously decided that stringent measures and provisions should be made so that the right of the indigenous people over their land are protected and kept unaffected.

    He added that earlier there was a provision that after getting the Acknowledgement Certificate, agricultural land was proposed to be deemed converted for non-agriculture purposes to set up an industry. But now it is proposed that so far land is concerned, no such exemption will be given. The business enterprises will have to take all the permission, clearance and approval related to land before starting any industry. In addition to that, all land related laws and provisions under the Assam Agricultural Land (Regulation of Reclassification and Transfer for Non-Agricultural Purpose) Act, 2015 have to be followed and observed by any enterprise.

    According to the state government due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 3.50 lakh people have returned from various parts of the country to Assam. Many of them have productive skill expertise. If they desire to establish MSME, they may require their own land for the purpose. Their interest has been also considered in framing this draft Ordinance.

    Assam has drafted an ordinance whereby MSMEs will not be required to take permissions for setting up MSMEs units in the state for next 3 years.

    After expiry of three years the enterprises shall be required to get all such clearances and permissions within next six months of the period. The enterprise will also be free to apply for permission, clearances etc. any time even before the completion of three years of period.

    He added that the present State Government, led by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, is fully committed to protect the rights of the indigenous people. “As such, land pattas (deeds) were provided to 45, 261 landless indigenous families of the State. Process has been initiated to provide land pattas (deeds) to 1 lakh landless indigenous people of the State by the month of December. The present Government has also taken proactive steps in amending the land and revenue policy of the State to clear the land of the social and religious institutions of Assam like Satras and Namghars from encroachers. The State Government has so far cleared 30,000 bighas of government land, from encroachers.

    He added that after 70 years of Independence, it is for the first time that the present State Government has taken steps for land survey of more than 900 villages of Assam. Illegal immigration has to be checked for protection of Assam’s land and its people. Sealing of the Assam-Bangladesh border is crucial to this.

    After coming to power in 2014, the present Union Government has finalized the Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh and as a result, the Smart Fencing in the disputed Latitila area is on the verge of completion. Likewise, Composite Fencing will be completed soon in Tukurgram, Jawainpur and Lakhi Bazar border areas,” Patowary said.

    The minister informed that where fencing is not possible, measures like CCTV camera, sluice gate, sentry post, LED lights have been taken. In the riverine area of Dhubri, Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) is being implemented. This CIBMS includes integration of various surveillance, detection, Microwave Infrared Intrusion Detection System, Underground Sensor, Underwater Sensor etc.

    The minister said that from 2016 to February, 2020 Assam Government has completed the fencing in the remaining 13.38 km of Indo-Bangladesh border. Steps have been taken to seal the border with Smart Technology in the remaining 4.35 km border areas in Karimganj town.

    For the first time, a River Police Organization has been constituted under DIG (Border) for border security. This organization checks criminal activities in riverine and char areas and checks illegal migrants in those areas. (Eom)

    "Great organisations don’t see people as a commodity to be managed to help grow their money, they think of money as a commodity to be managed to help grow their people."
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    2 Comments on this Story

    Suresh Kamath25 days ago
    TRULY a Great Step to set an ACT to help these Villagers their Rightful place and Border fence wherever possible and keep away ALL unwanted "illegal ELEMENTS" out of bound and Self reliant in Agriculture and Grow the right Crops for the benefit of the People of the STATE
    The Officials and COMMITTEE which decided this arrangement MUST deserve Compliments for this ACT to benefit the PEOPLE and prosper
    Abhishek Dwivedi D25 days ago
    Excellent move. Earlier, in the name of "development" and "industrialization" land of villagers and tribals used to be usurped for a few powerful businessmen. Now, this practice will be checked at least in Assam.
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