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Land Policies in Assam

Land Policies Post Independence Period

  1. 1950 (20th February) Resolution

    The main content of the Policy Resolution adopted on 20th February, 1950 is indicated below:-

    It is evident that, "Muslim immigrants from East Bengal still received a favoured treatment. But after partition of India, East Bengal was included in Pakistan and it was necessary to revise the situation. So in a Resolution dated 20th February, 1950, it was classified that with regard to the East Bengal immigrants who had come before January, 1938, those who had not acquired Indian Citizenship in the Indian Union would not be entitled to get settlement of waste land."

  2. 1958 (25th September) Resolution

    The basic guidelines of the Resolution are indicated below:-

    • Land Reforms and agrarian re-organisation are essential for the development of the country.

      The implementation of the Acts already in existence in respect of land reforms and agrarian reforms shall be taken up immediately and steps shall be taken to pass legislation in respect of other reforms measures.

    • The area of fresh reserve, being short of the International Standards, it will be harmful for the best of interest of the State and its people to reduce the total area of Forest Reserves any further. Deforestation is likely to effect rainfall and climate causing drought, flood and soil erosion which will have harmfull affect on agricultural and consequent products on food (NB- According to international standards atleast 25 percent of the total area should be under Reserved Forest).
    • It is seen that there has been a tendency for organised encroachment into the forest and grazing reserves. Such encroachers shall be dealt with firm actions.
    • The total available surplus cultivable lands being insufficient to meet the demand of the agriculturists individually, the future settlement for agricultural purpose shall be made as far as possible with Co-operative of farmers. When settlement of individuals have to be given the area should ordinarily be limited to 8 bighas to 12 bighas according to the fertility of the soil.
  3. 1968 Land Policy Resolution (20th January)

    Having considered the present conditions prevailing in Assam and high Pressure on agricultural land, Government is pleased to re-state the land settlement policy as follows:-

    • Settlement of land: No person already having more than 10 bighas of agricultural land either in his own name or in the name of any member of his family shall be entitled to get settlement of any new Government land for the purpose of cultivation.
    • The area to be settled per family whose existing holding is less than 10 bighas shall be so much as will together with any land already held making the total holding equal to 10 bighas , but priorities in settlement shall be determined in order of

      (a) Those who have no land

      (b) Those who have lands below 5 bighas

      (c) and those who have between 5 to 8 bighas

    • Lands for homestead purpose may be settled up to maximums of 2 (two) bighas with a homeless rural family, which is exclusive of above at Para(2).
    • PGR &VGR:The existing area under VGR & PGR will not be reduced save in exceptional circumstances.
    • Government reiterate its previous policy that all encroachment in forest grazing and other reserve should be dealt with family and expeditiously.
    • Steps to be taken for Prevention of alienation of agricultural land from cultivators to non cultivators and prohibition of sub cultivator’s letting. Govt. feels that in all future periodic leases sub-letting except by a widow, or a disabled person, or a military personal should be Prohibited, subletting of lands by tenants to subtenants will have to be prohibited by amending the relevant acts necessary.
    • Land Reform Measures: The Ceiling under the Assam Fixation of Ceiling on Land Holding Act should be reduced to 100 bighas in Place of 150 bighas.
  4. 1972 Resolution (21st July)

    The main guidelines of the Resolution are:

    • It shall be the endeavour of the Government to provide suitable home stead land in rural area varying between half to one bigha per family to all those who belong to the state of Assam and who do not possess homestead lands.
    • Governments have already enacted series of land reform measures. Legislation for further reduction of ceiling on land holding from 75 bighas to 50 bighas has been enacted. Government will also impose a ceiling on urban immovable property. In the matter of land reforms specific steps will be taken under the various Tenancy Acts and Provisions of ALRR 1886 will be extended to erstwhile P.S area of Goalpara and Karimganj.
    • All existing annual Patta lands in rural areas and failing outside the periphery of 2 miles of Municipalities, town committee and Revenue towns will be automatically converted by realization of appropriate premium.
    • High lands in PGR, VGR and Government waste lands not suitable for cultivation will be converted into reserve for common users.
  5. 1989 Land Policy resolution

    Govt. have adopted the new land policy in 1989, some of the basic features of which are stated below:

    • Allotment/ Settlement of land for Ordinary cultivation in rural area.

      (i) Land already allotted may be settled with the indigenous allottee, provided the allottee is in continuous possession for a period of 3 years or more by cultivating the same or has used it for the purpose for which it was allotted.

      (ii) The maximum limit of land for allotment to an individual is fixed at 7 (seven) bighas for agriculture and 1(one) bigha for homestead.

    • Disposal of Surplus land acquired under various acts:

      (i) Settlement of tenanted land acquired under the Assam Fixation of Ceiling on Land Holdings Act, 1956 (as amended) with the tenants in occupation, should be expedited as per provision of the act.

      (ii) The untenanted land acquired under the Land Ceiling Acts and already allotted to landless persons by issuing allotment certificates may be settled with the allottee occupants or their legal heirs, if they are found in physical possession of the land so allotted subject to the limit of 8 (eight) bighas.

    • Allotment of /Settlement of land for homestead purposes in rural areas:

      Local indigenous families of the state who do not have homestead land in the name of any member of their families may be allotted for homestead purpose and may be settled with the allottes after expiry of 3 years, provided the allottee is founds to have occupied the land by constructing dwelling houses and residing thereon.

    • Allotment of land for allied agricultural purposes in rural areas:

      Land in rural areas may be allotted for Pisciculture, Dairy, Piggery, Sericulture etc. On the basis of the schemes or projects duly approved by the departments concerned, to local land less families who have taken aforesaid as means of livelihood, subject to 5 (five) bighas per family and 20 (twenty) bighas for registered Co-operative Society/firm.

    • Allotment of land special cultivation:

      Government high land and ceiling surplus land suitable for special cultivation may be allotted to small indigenous growers particularly (a) Indigenous youths coming from the families below poverty line,(b) Other indigenous educated unemployed youths,(c) Co-operative of indigenous unemployed youths,(d) The maximum ceiling of allotment of land for special Cultivation is four hectres of holdings of the number of members in case of registered Co-operative society.

    • Restriction on Transfer of Agricultural land:

      (i) Transfer of agricultural land by cultivators for non-agricultural purpose without the previous permission is restricted as laid down under executive instruction No 6 under ALRR 1886.

      (ii) But the restriction on transfer of any class of land falling within the notified area under Municipal Corporation may not be made applicable.

    • Cadastral Survey in Non Cadastral area.

      Cadastral survey in non cadastral areas found fit for cadastral Survey will be taken up for the purposed of preparation of land record expeditiously.

    • Settlement and Reservation of lands in towns:

      (i) No land within municipal corporation on any town constituted under Assam Municipal Act, 1956, shall be settled for agricultural purposes.

      (ii) The area of land to be settled shall not exceed the limit of 4.00 acress per family and 5.50 acres in other towns per family.

      (iii) Land within greater Guwahati notified under Governments notification no RSR-21/59/126 dated 1st October, 1966 and in any other towns may be settled on payment of due premium with the indigenous persons of the state in order of preference such as (a) occupier of Government lands with the members of the family for last 15 years or more (b) and such other conditions.

      The land acquired under the Provisions of the Assam Fixation of Ceiling on Land Holdings Act, 1956, as amended and subsequently included in Town/Municipal Corporation may be settled with the occupying tenants as per provisions of the act subject to the limit of 2 kathas per family for homestead purpose.

      (v) The land acquired under the (a) The Assam Fixation of Ceiling on Land Holding Act, 1956,(b) The Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act, 1976 (Since repealed) and (c) The Religious and Charitable Institution of Public nature Act, 1959, but not under the occupation of the previously recorded tenants will be treated as ordinary Government land and will be disposed of by granting settlement as per land policy 1989, subject to payment of premium.

    • Joint pattta in the name of spouse:

      Government have decided that hence forth all allotment / settlement of land both in rural and town areas, will be in the name of the spouse, conferring joint title to the husband and the wife of a family.

    • Special provisions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes:

      The scheduled castes and scheduled Tribe’s landless eligible persons occupying Govt. land shall be given settlement of the land under their occupation, if the land is not otherwise reserved for any specific purposes. In case, the land under their occupation in needed for any public purpose, alternative suitable land shall be given settlement to such persons before the land under their occupation is taken over for the public purpose.

      Temporary Permission for manufacturing Bricks, Tiles etc may be given not exceeding 10 (ten) bighas in case of individual and not exceeding 20 bighas for co-operative society or firm, subject to payment of land revenue and royalty in advance by the permit holder as fixed by the Government not exceeding 3 (three) years. The term of permission will automatically stand terminated at the end of 3 (three years).

In this way, series of land policies had been adopted by the Government from time to time, conditioned by circumstances.