Ranchi: Terming it as a "wrong policy" to allow private investors buy land on their own in a state covered under the 5th schedule, Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda has said the order would be scrapped and fresh initiatives would be taken in the allotment of land keeping the interest of the state`s people.
"The policy taken during the President`s rule (in June/July last year) allowing the private companies to procure land on their own is wrong. This is against norms of the 5th schedule and the Chotnagpur Tenancy Act, and not good for the state," Munda told reporters last night while saying the policy would be set aside.
"We want industrial growth, but it should not affect growth of the people as development is meant for the people who should get maximum benefits in a state," Munda said but did not elaborate how his government would go about in facilitating investors to acquire land in the state.
Land should be given only after weighing all the legal aspects so that the people would not feel betrayed by the purchasers, Munda said.
"If a person sold his land and did not get his share as committed by the purchaser, then the seller`s grievance might be directed at the government. So the government`s job is to address grievances of the people, and the state will adhere to the fifth schedule and CNT act which protect tribal land," the chief minister contended.
Stating that the people and their development should not be compromised, Munda said his government would strictly deal with those investors failing to commit MoUs.
"Cancellations (of MoU) are going on," he added.
According to a recent study by ASSOCHAM, over 70 MoUs were signed by the state in the last 10 years, including those with the ArcelorMittal, Essar, Jindal South West and Jindal Steel and Power Limited for projects totalling Rs Rs 1,25,940 crore.
Underling the government`s commitment to complete rural road network and electrifying every village, Munda said the government`s thrust area was agro-based growth through public-private partnership.
"We have revised our food grain target. The new target for us is to produce 50 lakh MT grains for self-sufficiency. And efforts are on to increase irrigation facilities to the farmers," he informed.
After two years of drought, he said, monsoon has been active in Jharkhand and the ponds which had been dug this fiscal were full of water, enabling the farmers to use the water for farming.
"We have decided to increase the number of ponds compared to last year`s figure to help the farmers," the chief minister added.