TEA, COFFEE, & RUBBER CULTIVATION
GUWAHATI: For the first time in Assam, the State government has taken up an ambitious project to boost tea, coffee, and rubber cultivation by the indigenous growers. In this regard, the government has decided to give them allotment or settlement of land up to 30 bighas at the district level.
Meanwhile, following the direction Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Commissioner & Secretary of the Revenue & Disaster Management (R&D.M.), M.S. Manivannan, issued a notification in this regard on November 4.
With respect to the small tea growers, the notification says, "It has been observed that more than a lakh of small tea growers have been registered under the Tea Board or India. Of this, a substantial number of growers have been cultivating on government land.
Considering the policy of the Government to give land rights to the small growers of special cultivation (tea, coffee, rubber and other such cash crops) and also in order to expeditiously dispose of allotment/ settlement proposals in respect of such small growers, "the Revenue & D.M. Department has decided to authorize the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) to allot /settle land to the extent of 30 bighas to such small growers in the rural areas subject to the recommendation of the 'Sub-Divisional Land Advisory Committee and fulfillment of other conditions as laid down in the 'Government Land Policy-2019' and other executive instructions issued from time to time.
"The allotment/ settlement proposals involving land exceeding 30 bighas may be forwarded to the Revenue & D.M. Department for consideration."
The notification, however, adds, "The land allotted may be settled with the allottees on realization of premium as fixed by the Government provided that the land is utilized for the purpose for which it was allowed within three years of allotment failing which the allotment shall stand cancelled automatically."
Sources informed that the rate of premium for the settlement is Rs 1,000 per bigha (up to 30 bighas).
It has been also learnt that the new step has been initiated as the earlier rule was quite time consuming. As the DCs were not authorised to allot or settle lands to such indigenous growers, the DCs had to forward such proposals to the R&D.M. department.
Talking to The Sentinel, Revenue & Disaster Management Minister Jogen Mohan said, "Most of the indigenous small growers don't have land settlement records with respect to the areas under cultivation of tea, coffee and rubber among other such crops. So, they face many problems. The new move of the State government will definitely encourage the educated but unemployed youths to take up such activities."
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