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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Growth Oriented Land Reformation Policy And Anna Movement

Large scale controversy persists on Land acquisition Act 2013 framed by UPA government and an ordinance promulgated during BJP led NDA rule. Movement has been started against BJP government by Anna Hazare and indirectly or directly supported by majority of non-BJP parties either for serving farmers or for maligning Modi government to pave way for their victory in forthcoming elections. In all such cases of pro or anti Land reforms voices , national interest is perhaps ignored . Media men also fuel to fire without caring what is good for the growth of the country and what is essential for making India strong and self-reliant.

Mr. Kejriwal who cam to power only ten days ago is trying to exploit Anna movement to enlarge prospect of his party and to enlarge sphere of  his dominance in national politics. He also did not think it wise to submit point wise pros and cons of the ordinance and neither suggested ways to make Land Acquisition process more friendly to farmers as well conducive for growth . It is easy to criticize but difficult to suggest practical ways to deal with crisis.

 Modi Sarkar cannot ignore the interest of farmers who are cheated by District administration officials in the name of land acquisition. It is always complained that farmers have to run from pillar to post to get money for  land they sacrificed in the interest of the larger project in that area. Corruption in executive body has to be reduced to minimum and minimum to zero by all possible means to create an atmosphere of mutual trust among farmers, politicians and officials.

Opposing parties and media men are bent upon making a mountain of mole hill. They are clever to portray  even good points of ruling government as anti-poor. Ruling party is duty bound to educate and motivate farmers, small traders and all who are likely to be affected by land acquisition. After all it voters and common men who are their main clients , key beneficiaries or key affected lot of policies of the government. MPs of opposition parties or media men are not key customers of ruling party .

We know very well that success of any organisation or government or PSU depends on their ability to perform not only for comfort of the customers but for delightment of customers. Ruling party will win next election only if it gets success in winning the heart of common men and not merely by winning or supressing the viewpoints of opposing parties or media men on TV debates. Arvind Kejriwal won Delhi election only because his party always kept it connected to common men of the area without giving much importance to criticism propagated by his opponents and media men on mass media and social service platforms.

Ruling parties have to organise mass rallies for each major changes in policy which may affect the future of common men as they organise frequent rally to attract voter before election day . They cannot afford forgetting common men and voters when they come to power if they want to rule the country peacefully and if they aspire to get re-elected in next election.

I would like to suggest learned Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi to give more values to MPs of opposition parties, invite suggestions from them in writing , ask them to explain pros and cons of policies framed by ruling party and give sufficient space to all opponents in policy if their points are valid and not politically motivated and not with ill-motive. After all , MPS and MLAs of opposition parties are also elected by people of India. Modi Sarkar has to create a new line of action and stop following that of rejected Congress party or other parties which are elected on the basis of caste or community or which depend on one family for their survival. Parliament has to be used for real debate and discussion and not merely for mutual mud-slinging .

 Ruling party have to explain common men the gains and losses of amended Land Reforms Bill and submit a comparative study of ins and outs of the policy so that they may support the steps of the government keeping in view the larger interest of large section of the society. Until farmers are ready to sell their land , GOI cannot dream of increasing power generation or road development or increasing connectivity of rail services or establishing big projects creating new job opportunities for youths. Similarly GOI cannot and should not take any such step which will have an adverse impact on farming activity . Agriculture and farming is the source of livelihood of more than 75% of population of the country and it produces food for all . Manufacturing is equally important for the country but never at the cost of farming activity. Otherwise farmers will discard farming activity and migrate to towns and cities which in turn will generate bigger and unmanageable problems

It is also true that Manufacturing activity is to increased to produce more and more products in our country and create more and more job opportunity in India and to stop exodus of talent youth to other country. For this purpose GOI may use forest land wherever possible and may use lands under control of various PSUs which is not in use for years. GOI may leave private corporates to acquire land slowly in the area where they want to start new project. It may force private corporate houses to surrender lands which they acquired for any project but instead of developing the planned project sold it off at higher price.

It happens in almost all Industrial areas and SEZ where land is allotted for manufacturing activity but in fact the project do not starts for years and decades . Similarly GOI fixes various volume of  linkages for lifting of coal and other precious mineral for manufacturers who in turn of producing goods sell the coal papers at higher value earning huge profits without actually manufacturing any goods or services.

GOI allot vast are of land to build schools , colleges and hospitals at free of cost but do not ensure that services rendered by allottees are reasonable and affordable to common men. Freedom , privatisation, liberalisation are necessary for bringing reformation in the country but without regulating price, it proves costly for common men because business men are left to earn exorbitant profits.

If farmers, businessmen, manufacturers, service providers, railways, road makers all get land, capital, minerals, row materials etc at low cost and comfortable legal and administrative support , then only we may create quality products at affordable price and create adequate job opportunities for unemployed youth. If we keep the prices of land and houses in control  and in affordable level, then common men can dream of a dwelling house to survive respectfully .Only reducing interest rate on home loan may  not help common men in buying a housing unit. Similarly lowering interest rate on bank loan may not enthuse business men  to manufacture if other inputs are costly and not affordable easily.
Land Acquisition Ordinance: Pros and cons of the controversial Land Acquisition Amendment Bill 2015

Here are positive and negative clauses of the new Land Acquisition Amendment Bill:
1- The existing Act kept 13 most frequently used acts for Land Acquisition for Central Government Projects out of the purview. These acts are applicable for national highways, metro rail, atomic energy projects, electricity related projects, etc. The present amendments bring all those exempted from the 13 acts under the purview of this Act for the purpose of compensation, rehabilitation and resettlement. Therefore, the amendment benefits farmers and affected families.
2- The proposed changes in the Land Acquisition Act would allow a fast track process for defence and defence production, rural infrastructure including electrification, affordable housing, industrial corridors and infrastructure projects including projects taken up under Public Private Partnership mode where ownership of the land continues to be vested with the government.
3- As per the changes brought in the Ordinance, multi-crop irrigated land can also be acquired for purposes like national security, defence, rural infrastructure including electrification, industrial corridors and building social infrastructure.
1- The original Land Acquisition Act, 2013 had a consent clause for acquiring land – industrial corridors, Public Private Partnership projects, rural infrastructure, affordable housing and defence. But after the central government changed, it exempted these five categories from the rule of acquitting land in the Bill tabled on February 24.
2- Social assessment which was mandatory before acquitting land has also been exempted in the Bill tabled in the Lok Sabha.
3- As per the existing law, land will be given back to the farmer if it remains unused for five years. The proposed amendment says the land will be returned only if the specified project on the land fails to complete the deadline.
4- Bureaucrats will be punished if found guilty of violating any clause of the existing Land Act. However, the new clause makes government sanction necessary to prosecute civil servants.
The Land Acquisition Amendment Act, 2015 is currently creating a lot of hassle in Parliament with the Lok Sabha session being adjourned for the same on February 24. With both opposition and ruling parties equally holding their leashes tight on the Land Bill, only time will tell if the amendments in the Land Acquisition Act will be passed or not and whether they will be truly beneficial.
Edited by Shweta Parande

My Opinion on news of RBI Governor firing Government submitted below .

I strongly support the views of Mr. Raghuram Rajan Governor RBI,that only effectiveness in action can make the people happy. Strong government does not mean that it necessarily functions well.  Government is called successful only when people of India feel positive improvement  in their living standards and feel  comfort in leading their life with available volume of income  

In democratic set up it is opposing parties too who for their vested interest try to puncture all good efforts of the government rightly or wrongly . Media men also leave no stone unturned to incite anger in public by presenting even good policy in bad ways. Many times it so happens that Government is honest, sincere , active and effective in their plan to help poor and to increase growth rate but opposing parties and media men who are anti-government portray the good work of the government in bad way to incite public anger and to enrich vote bank.
WE can take the example of Land reform bill which was made pro-poor by outgoing UPA rule without taking care of business men who need land for starting a business and without taking care of the fact that  even government need land for developing highways , schools, colleges, hospitals, roads and all infrastructural projects.
If land acquisition is made a cumbersome process, and the cost is made so high that any  individual or corporate will avoid doing business, then striking the sentiments of poor by opposing parties to attract votes will prove more costly, suicidal  and more dangerous.

Now when Modi Sarkar is trying to make land acquisition easier by amending rules to some extent, there is much hue and cry in public domain and all created by anti-Modi forces. And now Even Anna Hazare supported by Aam Admi Party has started movement against Land reforms mooted out by BJP government. None of them , neither opposing parties nor media men suggest better ways which balances the interest of the poor as well as the interest of manufacturing sector. Only crying and abusing rulers will serve no purpose to the country.

Similar is the fate of mining of iron and coal. If row materials like land, coal   and iron is made rare element and too costly , I think all projects cost will be escalated to unbearable and unviable extent. Even if some business houses  dare start the project buying land, coal and iron products at higher cost , the price of products so manufactured will be much higher and again the government  will be targeted  on the ground of price rise and pain caused to poor. As such if land , coal and other minerals like iron is reasonably affordable to keep price reasonably within reach of common men, it will be appreciated by all. Though GOI may get huge amount by auction of such natural resources , thy may not imagine of keeping price low.

But unfortunately people protest if price rises, protest if there is scarcity of any goods or services and also protest when there is policy paralysis. We have to ponder over the way which is beneficial to all and practical too.

We have seen in the past that clever Rail Minister Like Mr Lalu did not hike rail fare or freight charges to win the hearts of voters. But position of rail services became so much pathetic that travelling by rail became impossible or uncomfortable if possible. GOI did not take adequate step to improve amenities in rail travel , did not take enough safety steps and did nothing to increase rail connectivity to all maximum towns and cities in want of adequate resources. When Rail Minister Mr. Trivedi wanted to increase rail fare and freight charges to improve quality and quantity of rail services , he was kicked out under pressure of opposing parties and anti-government propaganda made by media men.

We have to distinguish between populist and realistic measures. Common men are happy if all goods and services are made available to them free , service men may be happy if their salaries and allowances are increased every month, business men may be happy  if no taxes are imposed on them and so on. BUT all intelligent persons have to think whether such proposals are affordable and realistic.

 GOI want enough revenue collection to meet the cost of various social welfare schemes and to construct solid infrastructure to increase manufacturing and faming activities . For this purpose they need to impose various taxes on individuals and business men. If taxes are increased, again people of INDIA will exhibit anger and media will add fuel in fire. If taxes are not increased in tune with rise in establishment cost , rise in raw materials and rise in demand of free public utility services , Government of India can do nothing even if it likes to do. There must be some balancing act .

I agree that if corruption is wiped out from the system and if all types f pilferages and leakages are removed from all offices and all government departments, it may save a lot of expenses and give relief to common men to a great extent. Still GOI will need additional fund to cope with rising demands and escalating cost of all projects  for various pro-common men relief measures.

It is therefore the duty of RBI governor Mr. Rajan and Finance Minister Mr. Arun  Jaitley and it is the duty of ruling as well as opposing parties to sit together and frame a policy which will be pro-poor as well as pro producers and which will be so much balanced that it is considered as pro voters as well as pro government .Media men will have to stop negative campaigning and help government as well opponents to arrive at such a point which will benefit both ruled and rulers. Mr. Rajan is definitely a talented person and if he helps government of India to frame balanced policy and help administrative offices and PSUs to execute them honestly and sincerely , it will be a great help to people of India as well as GOI.

At the same time it is duty of concerned Ministers in Government to take opinion of persons like Mr. Rajan before finalising any policy and be always ready to give a respected hearing to all who proved constructive suggestions . No doubt , that GOI will have to deal strongly and if needed punish harshly if media men or opponents put hurdles without any valid reason in its way of performing well. If a borrower of banks fails to repay the loan or if a taxpayer evade taxes fraudulently , they must be punished quickly and effectively to give a good message to all concerned.

There must be honesty behind all policies and execution of all plans. I have full faith in Mr. Modi as well as in talented Mr. Rajan RBI Governor , and if they sit together , they can give right direction to economy of the country .Performers must be awarded but non performers should also be taken to task occasionally.

It is important to point out here that great economist Mr. Manmohan Singh failed because his UPA government thought it wise to keep mum on all charges of corruption and policy paralysis. There was uproar in entire country against GOI but PM Mr. Manmohan Singh under the pressure of High Command Sonia Gandhi  turned blind eye to all. As a result the UPA government lost last election.

Now when Modi government appears to be serious on all plans and on all projects to help common men , it is duty of RBI Governor, media men, all concerned  and opposing parties to cooperate Mr. Modi in the larger interest of the country and people of India .

Opposing parties as well as media men will have to  extend cooperative hand to ruling parties in ruling the country peacefully . And if  after all cooperation ,BJP government fails to perform, it is votes who will punish it as they punished to Congress Party. Similarly let AAm Admi Party perform in Delhi for a few years , votes keep watch on them and punish them at opportune time.

Last but not the least , I would like to add here that ,It is the need of the hour that talented persons from all opposing parties and media sections are also made integral part of the government , policy framing processes and in governance for successful execution of plans. Somehow or the other it is the need of the hour that land, coal, minerals, capital from banks is made available at lowest cost to needy without aspiring for profit. GOI and PSUs should work on "no profit no loss" basis. Only in such position prices may remain within reach of common men.

GOI will have to learn punishing corrupt, profit makers, hoarders, and all those who are playing destructive role only. Entire freedom to business houses and allowing them to earn exorbitant profits on all products or services is the root cause of  price rise for many public utility services and goods of common men in many fields.

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