In order to prepare a roadmap for regularisation of land leasing in the agriculture sector, the Centre has set up a high-level committee headed by Ajay Tirkey, secretary of the department of land resources under the ministry of rural development.
- The reform will lay down rights of landless farm workers who are deprived of welfare benefits.
- The proposed framework will recognise the rights of landowners and cultivators and farm workers.
Significance of the roadmap
The land-leasing legalisation will help small farmers to increase the size of their operational holdings and ensure that welfare benefits will reach out to landless farm workers.
i.It is to be noted that the current system does not allow farm workers to benefit from government-run support programs.
ii.The agricultural landowners in the country are small and fragmented. The benefits given by the government like income support under the PM Kisan scheme are based on land ownership.
About the Committee
i.The committee will submit its report to a Group of Ministers(GoM) on the model legislation on land leasing.
ii.It will provide suggestions to fast track land leasing in order to expand the benefits of the Central government scheme to the actual tillers and cultivators and also to protect the interests of landowners.
iii.After the committee prepares its report, a final decision will be taken at the highest level in the government.
i.To finalise the model legislation on land leasing, the government established the GoM in November. The model will be circulated to the states.
ii.The GoM was established after the Ministry of Rural Development, which administers land resources, opposed the draft model legislation as it was of concern to some constituents.
iii.It was of the view that it could lead to loss of farm income in the current form.
- It is to be noted that a Niti Aayog expert committee headed by T Haq had proposed legalising land leasing.
- It had proposed that the terms and conditions of the lease should be determined mutually by the landowner and the tenant.
Points to be Noted
i.The government is keen to promote agricultural reforms introduced as part of the Atma Nirbhar package, which allows farmers to sell their produce freely and liberalizing trade in cereals, edible oils, pulses, onions and potatoes under the Essential Commodities Act.
ii.A separate legal framework was announced to implement a standard method to predict the price of crops before farmers start sowing.
Agriculture accounts for about 14% of India’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP) and employs 49% of the country’s workforce and 64% of the rural workforce.
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About Ministry of Rural Development:
Union Minister– Narendra Singh Tomar(Constituency- Morena, Madhya Pradesh).
Minister of State– Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti.