Odisha Govt Withholds Its Decision To Allow Transfer Of Tribal Land
Bhubaneswar: Amid the opposition and hullabaloo, the Odisha government has put on hold the cabinet’s decision allowing transfer of land owned by tribals to non-tribals.
Taking to his X handle on Thursday night, Revenue Minister Sudam Marndi wrote: “The proposed Amendment to Regulation-2 of 1956 discussed in the Cabinet meeting held on 14th November 2023, regarding transfer of Tribal lands has been withhold (sic).”
The proposed Amendment to
Regulation-2 of 1956 discussed in
the Cabinet meeting held on 14th
November 2023, regarding transfer of Tribal lands has been withhold.
— SUDAM MARNDI (@MarndiSudam) November 16, 2023
A day after the cabinet approved a proposal by the state government to amend a law allowing the scheduled tribe people (ST) to transfer their land to non-tribals in scheduled areas with a written permission from the sub-collector, the opposition political parties on November 15 alleged that it was a conspiracy to help mafias, industrialists and contractors buy their lands.
Congress whip in the Assembly and Jeypore MLA Taraprasad Bahinipati said that he failed to understand the change in the government’s stance after passing a legislation in the House preventing transfer of tribal land to non-tribals in 2002. “The Congress had at that time demanded tribals be allowed to mortgage their land for availing loans. This decision of the government appears to be a conspiracy to loot the tribals,” he said.
President of BJP ST Morcha Nityanand Gond alleged the move was aimed at wooing tribals ahead of elections.
Refuting claims in a government release that the decision was taken as per advice of the Tribal Advisory Council to help educated tribal youths monetize their land for education, industry and other purposes, Gond said though he is also a member of the council, he was not aware of the council ever making such a recommendation. “If the government doesn’t revoke the decision, the BJP will hit the streets,” he added.
Notably, the last amendment to this act was made in 2002 after which a person belonging to the ST category can transfer his immovable property only to the person belonging to the ST community while he/she was allowed to mortgage his land to any public financial institution for agricultural purpose only.