Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Land Reforms - My Thoughts

With regards to the ongoing industrialization and the conversion of agricultural land into industrial land, I have had discussions with various set of people including the farmers themselves. The people and the farmers as I mt have been from various parts of the country spanning across the states of Punjab, Haryana, UP, Bihar, MP, Maharashtra & Gujarat.  The discussions have been around the Land conversion and the experiences of farmers.  Some have had positive thinking on the way they sell their land and move away from traditional farming, others felt that they needed a better deal with respect to the land that they sell.

One common grudge that each one had was the way their land was bought by the government at x amount and is then sold to the industries and other housing developers at 4x or 5x the original price offered to the farmers.

Another issue that I personally noticed and have discussed with the farmers was availability of counselling on how to invest / use the money received from selling the land.  The farmers certainly are not well educated to ensure that they invest money wisely and that's where they fall pray to the nova rich they discover. All of sudden when the windfall arrives, they lookout to save the last penny and at the same time they look for a stable income source.

Here I feel or say I opine that the government needs to take more constructive efforts with providing free counselling to the farmers.  Additionally, I feel that the contracts from selling the land needs to be devised in the manner that the farmers get share or the overall earning of the industries.  The way I look at it - 

"Government rather than paying X should pay X-Y to the farmers and that Y then should be treated as the investment by the farmers towards the setting up of the industry or so.  This investment then needs to yield a return of anything between 7.5% to 10% on an yearly basis.  This way the land prices would be in check and at the same time this would help ensure continued income for the farmers even after then selling off their land.

Certainly, this needs to be an option provided to the farmers rather than making it compulsory, for some farmers may have other plans. But at least this would serve as a good option for those who don't know what to do with the huge chunk of money as received by them....and then when they lose all, they search for stray jobs....

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