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From: Internet: TARIKERE SRIDHAR
Subject: Fwd: Economictimes.com: People can deposit fallow and
uncultivated land in government land banks to garner money
Hare Krishna Prabhu,
I offer my humble obeisances.
An interesting information
Your humble servant,
Sridhari Madhav Das
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11 Apr, 2012, 10.24AM IST, Devika Banerji,ET Bureau
People with agricultural land that they do not wish to cultivate will soon
have the option of depositing it in government land banks that will offer
them consistent monetary returns.
With an incentive system broadly on the lines of a bank account, the public
land bank will offer payments based on the tenure and size of the holding
with additional benefits if the land is leased out.
"A lot of land is left fallow and uncultivated because the owner does not
want to lease it and there is no proper guarantee of title," a Planning
Commission official told ET. "A government-backed land bank will help those
who don't want to sell the land and can't cultivate it on their own." The
official said the bank will also help in checking the rising trend of
selling agricultural land for non-agricultural projects.
He said the proposal, submitted by a working group chaired by Institute of
Economic Growth director Bina Agarwal, is under active consideration of the
commission. The land bank is proposed to be set up at the panchayat or the
gram sabha level. The group has recommended an initial seed capital for it
with the central and state governments sharing the cost in an 80:20 ratio.
The amount of the seed capital is yet to be finalised. The group has also
suggested that the bank be registered as a society.
The tenure of the land deposit can be as short as one season or more than
three years. Besides the monetary incentive, land owners will be allowed to
withdraw their land parcel at any time.
The land bank will consolidate all the land deposited under it in a
particular village and give priority to small and marginal farmers. It will
even give joint leases to small farmer groups. The lessees would get a
guaranteed rent, fixed after assessing land quality and as a consolidated
plot. There would, however, be a ban on leasing of land from the bank to
companies, large farmers and other categories that might monopolise the land
"On the supply side, it would address the concerns of landowners and bring
under cultivation large tracts of underused or fallow land," the working
group said. "On the demand side, it would provide disadvantaged and women
access to land, which they are not able to compete for in the open land
The move is also expected to counter a potential short-run freeze in the
land lease market as a law to provide recognition to agricultural tenancies
is in the works that will augment the land owner's fear of losing his land
Currently about 10% of rural households are reported to be entirely landless
and a larger percent is near landlessness. Most of the small and marginal
farmers depend on informal leasing arrangements and there is no uniform
pricing system. Up to 35% of farm land is currently cultivated through
tenant farming. Agriculture experts support the idea of creating a land bank
but question the feasibility of such a proposal in the absence of strong
laws to guarantee land titles.
"It is a long shot. I am not opposed to the basic idea but I don't think it
can fly in the absence of strong land records and land titling laws," said
Ashok Gulati, an agriculture expert who is also the chairman of CACP. "I do
not think panchayats are administratively strong enough to ensure fair
dealing of land. People are sensitive about their land and may not place
their trust in them."