Monday, August 4, 2008

Land and the landless

HAve you noticed how the government of most countries skillfully avoids addressing land tenure issues? It is as if land and access to it is not a limiting factor in land-labor-capital triad. Here are some ideas:

In order for the original equitable objectives of India's land reform legislation to be achieved, the authors call for a fresh approach to land legislation which involves selected revision to existing legislation and adoption of new methods of increasing land access. The authors suggest the following measures as part of this approach:
  • revitalise tenancy reform by (1) solidifying the gains of past tenancy reform by converting protected tenants into owners; and (2) selectively liberalising excessive tenancy regulation and restrictions
  • assist beneficiaries of ceiling legislation in realising the benefits by removing obstacles to land distribution and relaxing moratoriums on the transfer of ceiling-surplus land
  • consider adopting the decentralised Indira Kranthi Patham (formerly Velugu) project approach in Andhra Pradesh as a model for solidifying the gains of past wasteland allocation and otherwise providing secure land rights to the poor
  • explore using land purchase and existing government land to create new colonies of one-tenth acre house-and-garden plots for distribution to landless labourers

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