Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Indian Land Reforms Ordinance

On April 9 2014, I had written the article on Land Reforms and had raised a questions on the overall land reforms being pushed by the then government. Words From Thoughts: Land Reforms - My Thoughts

Late last year, the new Government elect under Mr. Narendra Modi passed and Ordinance in this aspect and then they tabled the Land Bill this year in the Parliament.  The Ordinance and the Bill both are being pegged to be anti-farmer and anti agriculture.  Well that is actually least to say.  The Ordinance and the Bill both are actually taking us at least 100+ years back to the Raj era when government could annex a land at will.  

The government is trying to defend the bill stating that it would generate more jobs. But is that the truth? Hell, no!!! The truth is today's land owners would become may be Gardner, Office Boy, Security Guard or something similar at the same set of facilities that would stand where they were the Owners.  It will also impact the agriculture base of India with conversion of the Agricultural Land into residential / commercial land. 

The flip side of the ordinance or the bill is it is going to impact the economy negatively as the agricultural output to GDP would be negatively impacted.  This will also impact the sociological and ecological balance. For this following points need to be understood - 

  1. Sociological Balance
    1. The Logic that the owners would get good amount of money for the land they would sell is in itself not a sustainable logic.  We have already witnessed in the past that those who were once owners of the Land could not balance the huge amount of influx on money and went on to extravagant expenditure to lose the amount in few years.  They then were working as Security Guards or something similar or were Driving Cabs etc 
    2. The failure of above point would also mean that the farmers / land owners would end up creating that divide between rich and poor to be more impacting
    3. The failure of above point 1 would also mean that there would be from resentment among the erstwhile landowners when they would see the skyrocketing prices for the land that belonged to them once
  2. Ecological Balance
    1. The Agricultural land and the adjoining areas may be actually the habitat of several migratory birds / animals / species.   If that would get converted to residential / commercial, we may see a fall in the numbers of those visiting that area
    2. More sewage to be planned and with more industrial waste, more issues to environment
    3. Higher degree of green house effect
  3. Economical Balance
    1. With change in the agricultural output from the reduced agricultural land, the overall portion of Agro-output to GDP would go down. This may impact GDP in short as well as Long term
    2. With lesser agricultural output, the self reliance on certain crops may go down and may require us to import food grains. This would increase Trade deficit further with more imports coming into fact than what we actually export
    3. Self Reliant Farmer may become a daily wage earner or low income earner for the change in income scheme from self employed to employed with other.  The per capita fall can be seen in this case
We may argue that above may be a short term deficit from the way they have been mentioned. However, when you would conduct a long term study to understand the slow down, somewhere you would find it written on the wall - Land Bill shouldn't have been passed in current form.  It needs an open debate on the form of the Bill itself.

To conclude I would just say - I am seriously disheartened that the man who ones said that he would repeal one draconian law / act each day, has failed us on this front.  Rather than repealing the Draconian Law, his government has thrown us almost 100 years back 

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