Bhubaneswar: After strong protest from opposition parties and various social organizations, the Odisha Government has put on hold its decision to allow sale/transfer of the scheduled tribe (ST) land to non-tribals in scheduled areas.
However, the protestors have demanded complete roll back of the cabinet decision.
On November 14, the State Cabinet had decided to amend the Odisha Scheduled Areas Transfer of Immovable Property (by STs) Regulation, 1956 for this purpose. However, in just three days, the Government today said it has withheld the decision without citing any reason behind the move.
“The proposed Amendment to Regulation-2 of 1956 discussed in the Cabinet meeting held on 14th November 2023, regarding transfer of Tribal lands has been withhold,” Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Sudam Marndi said in X (Twitter).
The Cabinet had decided to allow the ST person to gift, exchange for public purposes or obtain a loan by mortgaging a plot of land in a public financial institution for agriculture, construction of residential house, higher studies of children, self-employment, business or establishment of small scale industries or transfer it in favour of a person not belonging to ST community for these purposes, with written permission of the concerned Sub-Collector.
However, after such a transfer, he should not be landless or homestead less, Chief Secretary PK Jena had said while briefing the media. If the Sub-Collector does not grant permission, then the person can appeal to the Collector within six months, whose decision shall be final, he had stated. Notably, the State BJP on Thursday threatened to agitate against the decision of the State Cabinet.
Addressing a press conference here, Umerkote MLA and BJP Scheduled Tribe Morcha State President Nityananda Gond had said the government move is a ploy to help mafias, industrialists and contractors buy tribals’ land. Shri Gond said though he is also a member of the council, he was not aware of the Council ever making such a recommendation. If the government doesn’t revoke the decision, the BJP will hit the streets, he had threatened.