Opposition Slams Odisha Govt Over Move To Allow Transfer Of Land By Tribals

OB Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Opposition Congress and BJP lashed out at the Odisha government on Wednesday over its move to allow transfer of land belonging to tribals to non-tribals.

The opposition attack came a day after the state Cabinet approved amendments to some provisions of Regulation-2 of Odisha Scheduled Areas Transfer of Immovable Property Amendment Regulation to facilitate the transfer and mortgage of land belonging to scheduled tribes (STs).

Terming the decision as an attempt to loot the land of tribals, senior Congress leader and MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati alleged that it is a conspiracy to hand over their land to industrialists.

Stating that the BJD government had earlier implemented law preventing sale of tribals’ land to others, he said that the Congress had demanded steps to allow tribals to mortgage their land for availing loan.

However, the government’s approval of the proposal to allowed transfer of land appears to be a conspiracy to loot the tribals, the Congress legislator claimed.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also came down heavily on the state government over the move.
Though the Special Development Council (SDC) for tribals was formed by the government in 2017, nothing concrete has been done for them as it was constituted only to woo voters for elections, claimed state BJP ST morcha president Nityananda Gond.

Stating that real development lies in education and health sector, he said there is shortage of doctors in hospitals and of teachers in schools in tribal-dominated districts of the state as the government has failed to address the issue.

Accusing the state government of shedding crocodile tears for the tribals, he said that its focus is only on elections.

As per the amendments recommended by the Scheduled Tribe Advisory Council, an ST person may with the written permission of the sub-collector, make a gift or exchange for a public purpose or obtain a loan by securing a mortgage in a public financial institution. He may also transfer his land to a person not belonging to the ST category.

A scheduled tribe person can mortgage land or transfer land for agriculture, construction of residential houses, higher studies of children, self-employment, business or establishment of small-scale industries. If the sub-collector does not grant permission, then the person can appeal to the collector within six months and the decision will be final.

OB Bureau

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