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Himachal CPI-M to oppose move to relax land laws

Posted on Jul 19 2014 | IANS

Shimla, July 19 : The Himachal Pradesh unit of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Saturday decried the state government's move to dilute the land reforms and tenancy act, especially section 118, in the state.

"Since the last many days, there have been pronouncements by the ministers, including the chief minister, that a green field will be ensured for the industrial houses and the land reforms act would be amended," Tikender Panwar, member state secretariat, said in a statement.

The CPI-M has no objection to the laying of a green field path for the industries to come to the state but the dilution of the act will not be tolerated.

"The land reforms and tenancy act was effectively implemented in the state to ensure that the agricultural land is protected from the sell-out to capital and its investors.

"The states like Uttarakhand and other hilly areas are now realising the importance of such a provision that benefited Himachal Pradesh," he said.

In these states land in the prime areas or commercially viable zones is hardly being owned by the natives and instead is in the hands of big entrepreneurs, he added.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has announced that the government would relax land laws besides offering other incentives to promote industrial investment in the state.

"We want to make Himachal Pradesh an ideal investment destination by relaxing the norms under section 118 to set up industries and provide a business friendly environment to the entrepreneurs," the chief minister said.

He made the announcement at an event organised by the Industries Association of Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh in Baddi town Thursday.

Section 118 of the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reforms Act of 1972 allows only permanent residents of the state to buy land. Others who want to purchase land for non-agricultural purposes have to seek permission from the state government.

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