NITI Aayog finalises Model Act for farm land lease

Even as the Bill to amend the land acquisition law remains stuck with a parliamentary committee, the NITI Aayog is all set to propose a Model Act for freeing up of farm land through leasing.

The Act is meant for States that plan to legalise farm land leasing. State governments are expected to improvise it to suit the local socio-political requirements.

“Land ownership will remain secure and will revert to the owner and in case the parcel of land is sold before the tenure of the lease is complete, the rights of the tenants will be secure,” an official source told reporters. No changes will be made in the land records, he said.

Attestation of the lease is proposed to be done at the level of the sarpanch, local bank official or notary. The Model Act proposes that farmers and farmer groups be allowed to lease out land. The definition of ‘farm land’ is proposed to be broadened to include food processing.

The Model Act proposes quicker litigation process in case of disputes, by suggesting recourse through criminal proceedings and special tribunal, the source said.

“It is expected that the dispute settlement will be taken up at the level of the Gram Sabha, Panchayat and Tehsildar.”

At present, only land owners can avail of crop insurance schemes or loans. Also, disaster relief in case of drought and crop damage is provided only to the owners and not cultivators. The Model Act will enable share croppers to receive such benefits and relief. “Lessee cultivators could raise crop loans on the basis of expected produce,” the official source said.

The Model Act is being finalised by an expert committee which NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya had set up in September 2015 under former Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP) chairman T. Haque.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 5:08:05 AM |

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