GUWAHATI: The State government has amended the recently notified ‘Assam Land Policy-2019’, and increased the maximum limit for the allotment of land to the indigenous landless persons for both agricultural and homestead purposes in the rural areas across the State. According to the new notification of the Revenue and Disaster Management Department dated March 12, 2020, the limit has been raised to 7 bighas for agricultural purposes and one bigha for homestead. The Cabinet had also taken a decision to this effect on February 12, 2020.
Earlier, the State’s Land Policy-2019 had provisions for allotment of a maximum limit up to 3 bighas of land for agricultural purposes and half bigha for homestead.
The government’s latest move came after it noticed that many indigenous landless people are in possession of land much in excess of the allotment limit as was decided earlier.
‘Land Policy-2019’ has replaced the 30-year-old ‘Land Policy-1989’. The new policy was prepared by the State’s Revenue & Disaster Management Department; and following the State Cabinet’s approval, it was notified on November 13, 2019.
The new land policy is significant as the agricultural land for the rural landless peasantry and the land for residential and industrial/ commercial purposes — both in rural and urban areas — have become scarce and limited. This issue has been compounded with the growth of population and increase in industrial and other developmental activities in the State.
The land policy has also identified other factors leading to land scarcity among the indigenous landless people. These are: annual floods and erosion; unauthorised encroachments over government land; temptation to sell roadside agricultural land by poor, ignorant and unorganized agriculturalists to non-agriculturalists; and various other man-made factors.