1. National Land reforms Policy: while land reform is clearly a state subject under the constitution, the MoRD acknowledges that a National Land reforms Policy announced by the Central could have it own importance. The MoRD will initiate a dialogue with State immediately and put out a draft of this policy for public debate and discussion in the next 4-6 month and to be finalizing soon thereafter. The draft Land Reforms Policy Prepare by the Jansatyagarha organized By Ekta Parishad will be important input into the preparation of this draft. Civil Society Organization will also be actively involved in this exercise.
2. Statutory backing to the provision of agriculture and homestead land: MoRD will proactively initiate the dialogue process with states to take up steps on the issue of giving statutory backing (like MGNREGA and FRA) to (a) provision of agricultural land to the landless poor in the backward districts; and (b) provision of Homestead Rights to the landless and shelter less poor of rural areas, all over the country so as to guarantee 10 cents of Homestead to every landless and shelter less rural poor household.
3. Homestead Land: MoRD will propose doubling the unit to enable provision of 10 cents of land as home stead for every landless and shelter less poor family as a component for Indra Awas Yojna (IAY).
4. Enhanced land Aces sans land rights for the poor, marginalized and deprived landless: The MoRD agree to issue detailed advisories in the next two months exhorting the states to focus on the effective implementation of various laws enacted by legislature aimed at protecting the land rights of dalits, adivasis and all other weaker and marginalized section of the society. Details of these advisories will be worked out in consultation with civil society organization active on this issue. MoRD will also, through to take up a time- bound programme, for securing access to land to specific categories of marginalized and deprived landless families.
5. Fast Track Land Tribunal: The MoRD agrees to initiates a dialogue with states to establish fast track land tribunal / Courts for speedy disposal of the cases pending in revenue and judicial courts. In addition to the Central Scheme for legal aid to the entire person belonging to socially deprived section, whose lands are involved in litigation, particularly dalits and tribal communities.
6. Effective Implementation of Panchayats (Extension of Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (PESA); MoRD will work with the Ministries of Tribal Affairs and Panchayat Raj to complete stakeholder consultation over the next four months so that detailed circular to states could be issued for ensuring effective implementation of PESA by Empowering the Gram Sabhas to exercise the power given to them under the Act.
7. Effective Implementation of Forest Rights Acts: Ministry of Tribal Affairs have issued a comprehensive set of revised rules on 13th September, 2012 under the Scheduled tribes and Supported for effective implementation of the Forest Rights Acts in the light of the revised rules and Directive issued by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and in the light of suggestion received from civil society organization.
8. Forest and Revenue Boundary Disputes: MoRD agrees to issue an advisory to states to setup joint teams of forest and revenue department to undertake a through survey of the forest and revenue boundaries to resolve disputes. The Gram Panchayts and Gram Sabhas will be fully involved in the survey and settlement process.
9. Survey, updating of records and governing Common Property Resources: The MoRD will exhort and support the states to carry out surveys of Common Property Resources (CPRs) with the direct involvement of the Gram Panchayats Concerned. The States will also be advised to ensure full implementation of recent Supreme Court?s direction on this matter.
10. Task Force on Land Reforms: The MoRD will immediately setup a Task Force on Land Reforms Headed by the Union Minister for Rural Development to implement the above agenda. Member of the task Force will include Representatives of MoRD, Sate governments. Civil society organization working on land reforms issues and all stakeholders concerned.
In the light of this Agreement Jan Satyagrah agrees to discontinue its present march and work with the MoRD to carry forward this agenda.
Jan Satyagraha leader, P.V. Rajagopal, left, shaking hands with Minister
Suggested Agenda for action to secure access of land to the poor
1. Protection and development of lands belonging to Dalit and Adivasis: Measure to prevent alienation of Government lands assigned to Dalits: Identification Of Govt./assigned lands encroached by ineligible persons for restoring back to the original assignees; Identification of tribal lands alienated to the non ? tribal in contravention to the existing land transfer regulation for restoring the land back to the tribal?s and through inventory of land belongings to SCs/STs for taking up development of the land and provision of irrigation facilities under MGNREGS and other programmes;
2. Assignment of land to the landless poor: Regularization of unobjectionable occupation on the Government lands in favor of landless poor and issuance of tired deeds ( in scheduled areas, in favor to tribal only); Resumption of land acquired, purchased and / or leased out to industries etc. or acquired for development project but remaining unutilized, for distribution to the landless poor and state Government to identify all categories of lands available for assignment to the poor, giving priority to the poorest of
the poor; To secure access to land to the specific categories of marginalized and deprived landless people such as Nomads, Particularly vulnerable Tribal Groups, Single Women, HIV Affected People, Siddhis (Gujrat & Karnatka), Fisher folks, Slum Inhabitants, Hawkers, Leprosy affected people, Physically & mentally challenged People, Tea Tribes, Salt Workers, Pastoral communities, Bonded Labourers, Mine Workers, Bidi Workers, Internally displaced people; Resurvey and physical verification of Bhoodaan land to recover the Bhoodaan lands form encroachers, for allotment to the poor and to revisit the ceiling limit and implement ceiling laws, undertake reclassification of the lands and assign the surplus land to the poor.
3. Land related issues of the poor: Identify the land related problems being face by the poor and take up a porgramme for their resolution in a time bound manner; recoding tenancy to enable the tenants secure loans from the bank; Protect / provide burial ground and the pathway to burial grounds, especially to the most vulnerable communities in the villages; and management of land records at the village in a transparent manner.
4. Land to the Nomads: To issue appropriate directives to the state government to take up a campaign to settle the nomadic communities, by providing minimum homestead and agricultural land for sustaining their livelihoods.
5. Women?s Land Rights: To ensure that land owned by a family is recorded either in the name of a woman or jointly in the name of the man and the woman.
Suggested Agenda for action for ensuring effective implementation of the PESA, 1996 and FRA, 2006
1. PESA ? Align all state revenue laws and land related relevant laws with PESA 1996 to recognize power of Gram Sabhas in writing through the gram panchayat of any proposed sale of transfer including mortgage of any land/ transaction in the village; authorize Gram Sabhas to call for relevant revenue records, conduct a hearing and direct SDM for restoration of alienated land in necessary cases; inform any changes in the land record including mutation to the Gram Sabhas; expands the list of schedule V village by including all eligible but left out habitation; enforce in letter and spirit, the ?Samatha Judgment? in all acquisition of tribal land for private companies and implementation of PESA to be strengthened by notification of appropriate rules over all other laws, with appropriate amendment being carried out in all the state laws that are in conflict with PESA within a period of one year.
2. Forest Right Act – Securing to the Tribals, Bank credit facilities in respect of the land granted under Forest Right Acts and other land laws; ensuring vesting of all the forest rights as defined under the Act, to the tribal communities, who were earlier displaced because of notification of National Park and Wild life Sanctuaries, and are rehabilitated under the provision of Forest Right Act; settlement of Forest Rights, both individual and community rights, in respect of land proposed for acquisition, before land acquisition proceedings are commenced.
All the forest land where the Forest Rights Acts applies and where the process of the settlement of rights under the Indian Forest Act, 1927 has not been completed, it will be made clear that the process of recognition of forest rights under the Forest Right Act will be completed first and then the settlement process take to its logical end facilitation absolute rights to the tribal?s. All particularly vulnerable/primitive tribal groups without their date of occupancy on a particular piece of land will be exempted from furnishing of evidence of residence as required under Forest Right Act. This will be done through appropriate amendment to the Forest Right Act.
?Orange Areas? in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, where large extent of land is under dispute between Revenue Department and the Forest Department shall be settled expeditiously.