|3rd Five Year Plan||
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Objectives For The Third Plan
Land reform programmes, which were given a place of special significance both in the First and in the Second Plan, have two specific objects. The first is to remove such impediments to increase in agricultural production as anse from the agrarian structure inherited from the past. This should help to create conditions for evolving as speedily as possible an agricultural economy with high levels of efficiency and productivity. The second object, which is closely related to the first, is to eliminate all elements of exploitation and social injustice within the agrarian system, to provide security for the tiller of soil and assure equality of status and opportunity to all sections of the rural population.
2. The principal measures for securing these objectives were the abolition of intermediary or 'rent-receiving' tenures and the reform of tenancy, including regulation and reduction of rent and security of tenure. A further step to which tenancy reform led was the conferment of right of ownership on tenants.
3. In pursuance of the second object, in particular it was proposed that steps should be taken to reduce disparities in the ownership of landa policy widely accepted as being essential for the economic development of countries with limited areas of land and large population dependent on it. It was realised that with the existing pattern of distribution of agricultural holdings and the predominance of small farms, redistribution of land in excess of any given level of ceiling was not likely to make available any large results in the shape of surplus land for distribution. It was considered, however, that such reduction in disparities was a necessary condition for building up a progressive cooperative rural economy. At the same time, such redistribution of land as might be possible would, along with other measures which have been taken for resettlement on waste lands, afford a measure of opportunity to the landless section of the population, to whose problems special attention was drawn both in the First and in the Second Plan. It should be stressed that the principles on which the scheme of land reform is based do not merely involve adjustments between the interests of different sections of the population which depend on land, but are part o£ a wider social and economic outlook which has to be applied in some measure to every part of the economy.
4. It will be seen that, with the implementation of a programme of land reform on the lines described above, the vast majority of cultivators in India would consist of peasant-proprietors. They are to be encouraged and assisted in organising themselves in voluntary co-operative bodies for credit, marketing, processing and distribution and, with their consent, progressively also for production. To the extent such reorganisation is carried out at the village level, some of the difficulties arising from small and uneconomic holdings could be diminished and the weaker in each community could be assisted to raise their standards. It has always been stressed that as each phase of land reform is implemented, it will become possible to give fuller assistance to cultivators in increasing agricultural production and in diversifying the village economy. Greater cohesion among cultivators and the strengthening of the village community will also lead to a larger local effo.-t and more rapid economic and social progress.
5. As legislation has been enacted in one State after another, there has been greater understanding of the need for land reform and the purposes it is intended to achieve. The Bhoodan and Gramdan movements have greatly helped to create a favourable atmosphere for implementing progressive measures of Ipnd reform. Yet, the total impact of land reform has been less than had been hoped for. For this there are several reasons. In the first place, there has been too little recognition of land reform as a positive programme of development, and it has been only too often regarded as extraneous to the scheme of community development and the effort to increase agricultural production. Secondly, there has been insufficient attention to the administrative aspects of land reform. Frequently at the lower levels of the administration, collusion and evasion have gone unchecked, and there has been failure also to enlist the support and sanction of the village community in favour of effective enforcement of legal provisions. In the third place, it has not been sufficiently realised that the reform of land tenures and the early enforcement of ceilings are an essential foundation for the building up of the cooperative rural economy. While removing such shortcomings in the legislation or the rules as may come to notice, it is important that the land reform programme should be completed with the least delay, so as to eliminate any feeling of uncertainty arising from delays in implementation. This aspect has been specially stressed by the Panel on Land Reform constituted by the Planning Commission to assist in the study of proposals for the Third Plan.
Abolition of Intermediary Tenures
6. Work on the abolition of intermediary tenures like zamindaris, jagirs and inams, which Covered' more than 40% of the area of the country, has been fully carried out except for a few minor tenures such as those held by religious and charitable institutions and service inams. These reforms have brought more than 20 millions of tenants into direct relationship with the State and improved their social and economic position. As a result of the abolition of intermediary tenures, considerable areas of cultivable waste land and private forests came under the management of Government.
7. Several States with intermediary tenures did not possess the requisite revenue administration. Over the past few years, they have done much to strengthen their revenue agencies but there is need for further improvement, especially at the village level. There has been progress also in survey and settlement and in the preparation of records of rights, but much still remains to be done. Largely on account of the heavy burden thrown on the revenue administration, there has been a measure of delay in the assessment and payment of compensation to intermediaries. Out of a total amount of Rs. 670 crores (Rs. 520 crores as compensation and Rs. 150 crores for interest charges), so far compensation to the extent of only Rs. 164 crore has been paid, mainly in the form of bonds. It is important that in the course of the Third Five Year Plan, all the States concerned should arrange to issue the compensatory bonds still outstanding and complete records of rights and other administrative tasks arising from the abolition of intermediaries.
Reduction of Rents
8. Ten years ago the coustomary level of rents commonly paid by tenants-at-will, non-occupancy tenants and share-croppers over the greater part of the country was one-half of the produce or more. In addition to rent, very frequently there were other payments which enhanced the burdens borne by tenants. The situation was reviewed at length in the First Five Year Plan which suggested that a rate of rent exceeding one-fourth or one-fifth of the produce would call for special justification. Over the past few years, all States have enacted legislation for regulating rents which a landlord may receive. In some States, as in Gujarat, Maha-rashtra and Rajasthan, the maximum rent now stands at one-sixth of the produce. In Assam, Kerala, Orissa and Union Territories, the rent payable is about one-fourth of the produce or less. In several States, the normal level of rent is still about a third of the produce. It is to be hoped that in these States rents will be reduced to the level envisaged in the first two plans so as to facilitate more rapid improvement in the economic conditions of tenants.
9. In the early years of tenancy legislation, it was observed that reduced levels of rents and indeed other conditions of tenancyprovided for by legislation were far from adequately enforced, and to a large extent customary rates of rent continued to prevail. Where arrangements for leasing land are arrived at between individual parties, variations from the norms set by legislation can occur for a variety of reasons, for instance, if the owner undertakes to provide seed or bullocks or pay for irrigation. In the beginning, there is also considerable ignorance on the part of tenants of the rights granted by legislation. Where there is pressure on land and the social and economic position of tenants in the village is weak, it becomes difficult for them to seek the protection of law. Moreover, resort to legal processes is costly and generally beyond the means of tenants. Thus, in many ways, despite the ligislation, the scales are weighed in favour of the continuance of existing terms and conditions. Effective implementation of tenancy legislation, therefore, requires specially vigorous and sustained action on the part of governmental agencies. There must be special efforts not only to acquaint tenants with the rights due to them but also to bring about greater understanding on the part of the people of each area of the objects of land reforms and of the need to complete them without delay.
10. Although, in the past, rents have generally been paid as a proportion of the gross oroduce, with progress in the rural economy and larger use of money as the medium of exchange, it would be desirable, as a matter of policy, to hasten the transition from rents in kind to cash payments. With cultivators having to purchase a growing proportion of their requirements, such as fertilisers, implements etc., in cash, the change-over to cash rents is likely not only to reduce the burden on tenants, but also to promote investment in agriculture. As suggested in the Second Plan, commutation of rents in kind into cash payments might be facilitated if, with due regard to conditions of each district, rents could be declared as multiples of the prevailing land revenue assessment. Where this is not feasible, suitable norms could be proposed on the basis of other criteria. It would greatly assist the enforcement of rents prescribed by legislation if State Governments could make it obligatory on the part of owners to furnish receipts for the rents received by them and if, as is already the practice in some States, tenants could deposit the rents due from them with the appropriate revenue officer, the land owner being advised accordingly.
Security of Tenure
11. Legislation providing for security of tenure has been enacted in eleven States and for all the Union Territories. In four States Bills arc before the legislature and will be enacted in the near future. Pending legislation, ejectment of tenants has been stayed. Legislation for security of tenure has three essential aims-firstly, that ejectments do not take place except in accordance with the provisions of the law;secondly, that land may be resumed by an owner, if at all, for 'personal cultivation' only:and thirdly, that in the event of resumption the tenant is assured of a prescribed minimum area.
12. In the first phase of tenancy legislation it was perhaps inevitable that the provisions regulating the rights of owners and tenants should be somewhat elaborate. Such complexity comes in the way of making the legislation cffee'-tive. In the light of the experience gained, it is suggested that steps should be taken to simplify the existing legislation wherever possible, and to strengthen or modify provisions which arc in practice difficult to enforce.
13. As stated earlier, the impact of tenancy legislation on the welfare of tenants has been in practice less than was hoped for. One of the principal reasons for this is that in a number of States ejectments of tenants have taken place on a considerable scale under the plea of 'voluntary surrenders'. Two main recommendations on this subject were made in the Second Plan. The first was that voluntary surrenders by tenants of lands held by them should not be regarded as valid unless they were duly registered by the revenue authorities. Secondly, in the event of surrender of tenancy, the land owner should be entitled to take possession of land only to the extent of his right of resumption permitted by law. On the whole, both legislation and administrative action have fallen short of these recommendations. A few States have provided for registration of surrender of land by tenants. Registration of surrenders is essential and a provision on these lines should be a feature of tenancy legislation. The second lacuna in the existing legislation concerns the conditions applicable to surrenders. In two States effect has been given to the recommendation in the Second Plan that resumption of land arising from a voluntary surrender by the tenant should take place on conditions identical with those governing resumption for personal cultivation. In Maharashtra and Gujarat. the overall limit for resumption applies also to surrenders, but other conditions governing surrenders are different. As was pointed out in the Second Plan, most voluntary surrenders of tenancy are open to doubt as bonafide transactions. This has been confirmed by such enquiries and investigations as have been undertaken. It is, therefore, important that early steps should be taken to remove legal and administrative deficiencies relating to the registration of 'voluntary surrenders' and resumption of land arising from them.
14. In most States legislation provides for a definition of 'personal cultivation' which is, as a rule, a necessary condition for resuming land from tenants. There are three elements in 'personal cultivation', namely, risk of cultivation, labour and personal supervision. The obligation of the owner to bear the entire risk of cultivation implies that wages will be paid in cash or in kind, but not as a share of the crop. While the expression 'labour' is generally defined to include 'labour by the owner or by a member of his family', this is not an obligatory element in 'personal cultivation'. In the Second Plan, the proposal was made that where land is resumed on grounds of 'personal cultivation', it would be desirable to provide for personal labour as a necessary ingredient, in the absence of which the ejected tenant should have the right of restoration. So far this suggestion has not found its way into the legislation undertaken by the States. A provision on these lines is desirable and would serve to make the legislation more effective. As an essential element in 'supervision', the Second Plan envisaged residence during the greater part of the aricultural season by an owner or a member of his family in the village where the land is situated or in a nearby village within a distance to be prescribed. The Panel on Land Reform has suggested that the condition of residence in these terms should apply during the period the main agricultural operations are undertaken. This suggestion should be considered by State Governments and the current definitions of 'personal supervision' modified to the extent necessary.
Resumption of Tenancies
15. The main recommendations in the Second Plan for regulating resumption of tenancies on grounds of personal cultivation were as follows :
16. From the tenor of legislation enacted or under consideration, States fall broadly into four categories :
17. Experience of the working of legislation relating to resumption on grounds of personal cultivation leads to certain broad conclusions. In the first place, whatever the conditions, the right 1o resume land creates uncertainty and tends to diminish the protection afforded by the legislalion. Both in the First and in the Second Plan, it was contemplated that it would not be necessary to allow resumption beyond a period of five years. It is considered that except for owners holding land equivalent to a family holding or lesson view of the period which has already elapsed, there should be no further right of resumption. Further uncertainty for tenants would not be in the interest of agricultural development. In the second place, small owners, that is owners with a family holding or less, deserve special consideration. As suggested in the Second Plan, owners with less than a basic holding (that is, one-third of a family holding) should be free to resume their entire area for personal cultivation and to lease out their lands. As regards owners whose holdings lie between a basic holding and a family holding, they may be permitted to resume for personal cultivation, within a specified period, one-half of the area held by the tenant but in no event less than a basic holding. Where a tenant is left without any land or with area smaller than a basic holding the Government should endeavour to find land for him to cultivate. The general aim should be to encourage small owners, and specially those among them with very small holdings. to enter into cooperative fanning societies. Membership in a cooperative farming society would enable them to move to other work if they so desire. For such owners it would not be necessary to prescribe a period beyond which resumption for personal cultivation should not be permitted.
18. Provisions regarding resumption for personal cultivation could be abused if medium-sized owners were to act malafide and transfer their lands to relatives or others and so come within the definition of small owners. With a view to ensuring that the provisions for resumption are observed, legislation in Gujarat and Maharashtra was amended in 1957 so as to restrict resumption in respect of such land as stood in the name of a land holder or any of his ancestors in the record of rights on the 1st day of January, 1952. In the legislation in Kerala which includes special provision for small holders, it has been provided that any transfers or partitions carried out after the 18th day of December, 1957, shall not entitle the land holder or the transferee to the benefit of the provisions for small holders. A condition on these lines would be generally desirable.
Rights of Ownership for Tenants
19. Security of tenure and reduction of rents are the first stage in tenancy reform; the goal is to confer rights of ownership on as large a body of tenants as possible. In the Second Plan it was suggested that each State should have a programme for converting tenants of non-resum-able areas into owners' and putting an end to vestiges of the landlord-tenant relationship. It was urged that instead of optional rights to tenants to purchase lands cultivated by them, all tenants of non-resumable areas should be brought into direct relationship with the State. For owners with holdings equivalent to a family holding or more, a period of five years within which the right of resumption could be exercised was proposed, and it was suggested that on the completion of this period, rights of ownership should be conferred on their tenants. Finally, as it was difficult to obtain precise information regarding .the progress made in (he transfer of ownership rights to tenants, the recommendation was made that States should arrange to compile regular annual returns.
20. In the course of the Second Plan, some progress has been made in the direction of providing ownership rights to tenants. In a few States as in Punjab, only optional right to purchase h;is been given to tenants. This is an unsatisfactory approach, for, as was observed in the Second Plan, where rights of purchase are optional, they are scarcely exercised. In a number of States, legislation provides for bringing tenants of non-resumable lands into direct relationship with the Government. This may be achieved in one of the three ways :
21. The first of these courses has been followed in Guiarat. Maharashtra, Madhya Pra-desh and Raja'sthan. the second in Delhi and in respect of under-raiyats (without payment of compensation) in West Bengal, and the third in Kerala and Uttar Pradesh. In Madras, steps in favour of ownership rights for tenants have not yet been initiated. In Assam and B'har, the right of ownership will be available only to the tenants of land-holders holding more than the ceiling area. As much of the legislation is quite recent, exact information regarding the extent to which ownershio rights have been conferred on tenants is not available. It is understood that in Guiarat and Maharashtra. under legislation enacted by the former Bombay State, rights of ownership would accrue to 1.3 million tenants over an area of about 2.4 million acres. In Uttar Pradesh. about 1.5 million sub-tenants and tenants of home-farm lands, holding about '2 rrpili'on arres. were brought i"to d'"r°'-t relationship with the State. In the Union Territory of D^lhi. ownership of abnut 25-000 acres was transferred to about 18,000 tenants and subtenants.
22. It is recommended that in the course of the Third Plan. steps should be taken to complete the programme for conferring rights of ownership on the tenants of non-resumable lands. With the enforcement of ceilings on agricultural holding';, tenants of owners with lands above the limit of ceiling will. in the ordinary course, become owners of land. It has been suggested earlier that owners holding land exceeding a familv holding:, as prescribed in different States, should have no further rights of resumption. Tenants of such owners should also become owners of lands held by them. With this object, according to its legislation and other conditions, a State may either acquire the rights of ownership and transfer them to tenants or declare tenants as owners and require them to pay for their rights in instalments on terms prescribed bv legislation. On the whole, it would be desirable for payments bv tenants for acquisition of ownership to be made directly to Government rather than to the owners. This will ensure more effective implementation and will end the landlord-tenant nexus.
23. The question arises whether rights of ownership should also be conferred upon the tenants of small ownersL This would be desirable in principle to the extent of non-resumable lands held bv such tenants. However, in view of the large number of petty owners involved, a uniform approach might not be feasible. The problem should be studied by States in the light of their conditions with a view to determining the action called for in this direction.
Ceiling on Agricultural Holdings
24. In the course of the Second Plan, there has been legislation for placing ceiling on agricultural holdings in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, PEPSU territory in the Punjab, Raja-sthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal and in the Union Territories. Bills proposing, ceilings are at present before the State legislatures in Bihar, Madras and Mysore. In Punjab, outside the area of the former PEPSU territory, the existing legislation permits the Government to utilise land in excess of the permissible area for the purpose of resettling tenants who have been ejected or may be ejected. Annexure 1 of this Chapter sets out in summary form information relating to the levels at which ceilings have been prescribed or proposed in d'fferent States. With the completion of legislation, essential task must be that of ensuring speedy and effective implementation.
25. The question whether ceilings should apply to the holding of an individual owner or to the aggregate area held by the members of a family was considered in the Second Plan. As is to be expected, practice in this respect differs. In several States, as in Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Orissa, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal the ceiling applies to individuals without any special provision being made for joint Hindu families. In Madhya Pradesh, while the ceiling applies to individuals, in the case of a joint Hindu family each co-sharer is entitled to a separate ceiling area. In Assam, Gujarat, Kerala and Rajasthan, the ceiling applies to the aggregate area held by a family, the expression 'family' being denned in the legislation. A similar approach has been adopted in the legislation now under consideration in Madras and Mysore. Thus different States have applied ceiling to individuals or families as they considered appropriate to their conditions.
26. Once legislation has been enacted, amendments should aim primarily at eliminating deficiencies and facilitating implementation rather than at introducing fundamental changes in the principles underlying the legislation. In this context, the most important issue for consideration is the treatment of transfers of land on the part of land owners subject to ceilings. On the whole, it would be correct to say that, in recent years, transfers of lands have tended to defeat the aims of the legislation for ceilings and to reduce its impact on the rural economy. The question as to whether or not transfers should be disregarded and, if so, from what date, has been debated at length in every State. In the majority of States a date prior to the enactment of the legislation has been indicated. This may be the date of the introduction of the Bill providing for ceilings or of its publication or other specified date. In several States transfers subsequent to this date are disregarded as in Assam, Gujarat, Kerala, Madras, Maha-rashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. In a few States, there is no such provision at all, as in Andhra Pradesh. In Madhya Pradesh and Orissa, legislation allows the owners of surplus lands to dispose of them to persons belonging to certain prescribed categories even after the enactment of the legislation.
27. Since many of the transfers are apt to take place between members of the family, it has been suggested that the ce'ling should apply invariably to the aggregate area held by a family rather than to individuals. However, in view of the fact that ceiling have been applied in several States to individual holdings and in others to the aggregate area held by a family, any attempt to remove deficiencies or weaknesses would have to fit into the pattern of the prevailing legislation. The question of transfers could perhaps be dealt with in the following manner:
(1) Where legislation does not contain a provision for disregarding transfers, in view of the fact that transfers have taken place on a considerable scale, a suitable date subsequent to which transfers are disregarded may be proposed, if necessary, through an amending legislation. This date may be the date of the publication of the ceiling proposals or an earlier date as may be prescribed in view of the local conditions.
(2) In respect of transfers made after the specified date, a distinction may be made between (a) transfers among the members of a family, (b) benami transfers and other transfers which have not been made for valuable consideration and through a registered document, and (c) transfers made for valuable consideration through a registered document. Transfers coming under (a) and (b) can be disregarded. Transfers falling under (c) may need to be dealt with differently in view of the fact that the transferees may be small owners or landless persons who may have purchased some land. It may be necessary to protect such transferees, at any rate, upto a prescribed limit, say, a family holding.
(3) There should be provision for a review of transfers by a competent authority on the lines suggested above.
Exemption from Ceiling
28. The Second Plan envisaged exemption from ceilings for the following categories of farms :
This recommendation was based on three main considerations. Firstly, in undertakings like plantations, industrial and agricultural work had to be closely integrated. Secondly, in certain specialised branches of agriculture such as horticulture, cattle-breeding, dairying, etc. investment has to be made on a long-term basis and several years elapse before the output could be realised. In the third place, it was thought that in safeguarding efficiently managed farms which consisted of compact blocks on which heavy investment or permanent structures had been made, risk of fall in production would be avoided.
29. In the legislation which has been enacted in the States, plantations have invariably been exempted from ceilings. There are provision also in favour of specialised farms. There has been some measure of variation in ths approach to sugarcane farms operate by sugar factories and to efficiently managed farms. Legislation in several States (Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Punjab and Rajasthan) and proposals under consideration in some others (Bihar and Mysore) provide for the exemption of efficiently managedfarms from ceilings. Where the exemption exists, by and large it has still to be implemented. In Kerala, Madras, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, exemption of efficiently managed farms from ceilings has not been envisaged. In Uttar Pradesh, the Government has taken power to operate the surplus lands of mechanised farms as State farms and to appoint suitable persons as managers on terms and conditions to be prescribed, preference being given to the existing holders of these farms if they are otherwise qualified.
30. As regards sugarcane farms operated by sugar factories, legislation in several States exempts them from the operation of ceilings, as in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan and PEPSU area of Punjab and in the Bills at present under consideration in Bihar and Mysore. In three States, however, a different approach has been adopted. In Madras legislation provides for the setting up of a Sugar Factory Board to review whether individual factories should or should not be exempted from ceii'nps. Considerations such as the requirements of the sugar factory and its financial structure have to be taken into account before final decisions are taken. In Uttar Pradesh, while there is no exemption from ceilings, provisions relating to mechanised farms mentioned above would also apply to sugarcane farms operated by sugar factories. In Maharashtra, sugarcane farms of sugar factories are not exempted trom 'qeihngs but provision is made for maintaining the integrity of the farms in one or more compact blocks, for full and continued supply of raw material to sugar factories at a fair price, and for grant of surplus land to joint farming societies consisting, as far as possible, of persons who had previously leased their lands i0 the sugar factory, agricultural labourers employed on the farm, technical and other staff engaged by the factory for work on the farm, adjoining land holders who are small holders and landless workers.
31. The considerations urged in ihe Second Plan and the recommendations regarding the exemption from ceifings of efficiently managed farms and of sugarcane farms operated by sugar factories remain generally valid tor the Third Plan and there are advantages in following the course proposed. On the other hand, where a State, because of practical difficulties or other considerations, wishes to adopt a different course, certain conditions should be assured. These are, firstly, that the integrity of the farms should be maintained and their levels of efficiency ensured and, secondly, in the case of sugar factory farms satisfactory and continuous supply of the raw material to the factory concerned should be secured.
Schemes of Resettlement
32. Proposals to set ceilings on agricultural holdings were intended to serve two objects firstly, to bring about reduction in disparities and pave the way to the development of a progressive cooperative rural economy and. secondly, to provide land for redistribution to the landless sections of the rural population. Far-reaching legislation has been enacted and although precise estimates are difficult to make, it would appear that the total area of surplus lands likely to be available for distribution to the landless might be considerably less than what had been hoped for at one time. At the present stage in land reform the most important consideration is that such lands as can be made available by each State as a result of the implementation of its ceilings legislation should be allotted with least possible delay. Along with these lands, waste lands and, where possible, lands available through Bhoodan should be pooled and systematic schemes of resettlement speedily implemented. In providing land care should be taken to make available the necessary credit and other facilities, so that those settled on the land may develop high standards of cultivation. It was contemplated in the Second Plan that in the settlement of land acquired in consequence of the application of ceilings, tenants displaced as a result of resumption of land for personal cultivation, farmers with uneconomic holdings and landless workers should receive preference. It was also proposed that setdements should be made, as tar as possible, on cooperative lines. Generally, the legislation which has been enacted follows these recommendations. It was also proposed in the Second Plan that farmers with uneconomic holdings should be admitted into cooperatives constituted with surplus lands if they also agreed to pool their lands. In taking action along these lines the necessary financial and technical assistance should be provided as envisaged in the programme for the development of cooperative farming proposed for the Third Plan.
Consolidation of Holdings
33. Progress in the consolidation of holdings has been recorded in Punjab, LJttar Pradesn, Maharashira, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. In other States, mere has been comparatively little advance during the Second Plan. By the end of 1959-60 about 23 million acres had been consolidated and work was in hand over another 13 million acres. According to indications given by States, the total area likely to be taken up for consolidation in the Third Plan is about 30 million acres. With a view to making experience in consolidation of holding available to all States, two special studies were prepared by the Planning Commission four years ago. One of these explained the methods which had been developed in different parts of the country and the problems which had been encountered. The second study set out suggestions for speedy execution of the programme of consolidation. Although consolidation of holdings has been regarded as an integral part of the agricultural production programme, in practice the two programmes are not always co-ordinated. Except where consolidation of holdings is already being undertaken on a large scale, in view of the limitations of trained personnel, it would appear desirable to concentrate consolidation work in areas which are already receiving irrigation or are likely to come under irrigation. The Planning Commission propose to study more closely how best the factors which come in the way of extension of the consolidation programme in the southern and eastern parts of the country can be over-come and what changes and adaptations in the present methods and system of consolidation are called for in these areas.
Land Management Legislation
34. The place to be assigned to land management legislation and the manner in which it should be applied need to be considered in the light of developments during the first two plans. In the First Plan, while land management legislation was intended to be general in scope, its specific applications were to be in relation to farms held by substantial owners. In the proposals in the Second Plan the object was that land management legislation should provide for standards of efficient cultivation and management which would permit objective and qualitative judgments. If farms could be classified into certain grades, those above the average could receive suitable encouragement, while those tailing oelow the average coaid oe assisted to come up to higher standards. For certain purposes tne legislation could provide for sanctions. Legislation regarding land management has been enacted oniy in two Siates and in one Union Territory and even in these it has not been actually implemented. A large number of enactments exist in me States for certain specific agnculi.ural purposes such as utilisation of waste lands, adoption of improved seeds, control of pests and diseases, etc. Much of this legislation is fairly old and needs to be reviewed in reiation 10 tne present development programmes for agriculture and the extension services which have Deen brought into existence in the community development blocks. While it will be of value to bring together the best experience in land management practices for the guidance of farmers, cooperatives and panchayats, the question of enforcing legislative sanctions and of the role of panchayais and panchayat samitis has to be Studied further in consuitaaon with the States and in the light of the experience gained by them in working the existing enactments.
Problems of Implementation
35. Problems arising in the implementation of land reform legislation enacted in the States have been studied by the Panel on Land Reform and the urgent tasks to be performed have been listed separately in respect of abolition of intermediaries, tenancy reforms and ceilings. The Panel has laid particular stress on the preparation of correct and up-to-date records of rights and on the need to strengthen the revenue administration. Records of rights have been brought up-to-date in several areas, but in some of them there is need for a more intensive programme of work. In several Stales, records of rights do not provide information regarding tenants, sub-tenants and crop-sharers, and as such implementation of the legislation itself suffers. Lxpenditure incurred on cadastral surveys and in the preparation and correction of records of rights has been included in the plans of some Stai-es and is eligible for Central assistance. Provisions made for these purposes would need to be augmented as the work proceeds.
36. A number of surveys of land reform have been undertaken in different parts of the country through the Research Programmes Committee of the Planning Commission. They bring out the problems encountered in enforcing the legislation. In view of the wide scope of the legislation which has been enacted and differences in conditions, it is desirable to extend these studies on a systematic basis. For this purpose the assistance of universities and leading research centres should be t'uily availed of. I he aim should be to cover different areas in accordance with a general scheme and to arrange for the evaluation of land reforms both in the transitional phase and from the aspect of long-term economic and social effects.
37. The Planning Commission has under preparation a report on the progress of land reform which brings together the essential features of legislation enacted in different States. This study will also set out data regarding land holdings and cultivation collected at the census organised in 1954-55, which have been summarised in Annexure II of this Chapter.
ANNEXURE I Ceiling on existing holdingslevel of ceiling
Census of Land Holdings And Cultivation
As recommended in the First Plan, a census of land holdings and cultivation was carried out in 1954-55 in all States except Assam, West Bengal and Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territories of Manipur and Tripura. In Assam and West Bengal, the State Governments had already collected certain data regarding land holdings. West Bengal had already enacted legislation for ceilings, in Assam a Bill had been passed and in Jammu & Kashmir a ceiling had been imposed earlier. A new census was not considered necessary in these States. In Manipur and Tripura the proposal to conduct the census was dropped due to lack of trained personnel and difficulties of terrain.
1. The census was based on complete enumeration of all holdings in the former States of Andhra, Bombay, Madhya Pradesh, Madras, Hyderabad, Madhya Bharat, Saurashha, Ajmer, Bhopal and Kutch. In Punjab and in the former States of Mysore, Coorg, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Vindhya Pradesh, with a view to expediting the census, the enumeration was restricted to holdings of 10 acres and above. However, estimates of holdings below 10 acres were also made. In Bihar, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and in the former State of Travancore-Cochin sample surveys were undertaken.
3. The data relate generally to the year 1953-54. The main concepts employed in the census were the following ':
To the extent they were available at the time, the results of the land
census data were presented in summary form in the Second Five Year Plan.
The data were subsequently retabu-lated for the States as reorganised
in 1956. In this form they are set out in the tables which follow except
for Bihar and Orissa. The Bihar Government .felt that the data collected
in the sample survey did not represent even approximately a correct picture
of ownership and cultivation. The data received from Orissa were incomplete.
(B) States where the enumeration was restricted to 10 acres or more
(B) States where the enumeration was restricted to 10 acres or more
4. HIMACHAL PRADESH (*)
Note : In Mysore and Coorg areas, holdings of 10 acres and above were enumerated, but in areas transferred from size groups were enumerated.
4. Himachal Pradesh(1)
Karnataka, area of holdings has been expressed in terms of 'dry acres'.
One ordinary acre, on an average, is in working out the distribution of
holdings for the state as a whole, a dry acre has been equated to an ordi
*Relatcs to holdings of 10 acres and above. (n) Means tess^than 500 or
0-05%. (*) In Chamba district, the census was carried out in Bhattiyat
tchsil; in 58 random villages of Chamba tehsil Hyderabad and Madras, holdings
of all 01 dry acres. Since the difference is small, andom villages
in Churah tehsil.
(*) Data collected based on complete enumeration of holdings of all size groups. (*.) Data relate to 204 sample villages. No estimates were made for the state as a whole. (n) Means less than 500 or 0.05%. ' acres.' ascluded from area under personal cultivation.
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