Tripura To Amend Agri Land Bill To Benefit Sharecroppers, Tenant Farmers

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Abhijit Nath, NET Correspondent, Tripura

In a bid to avail different kinds of benefits for sharecroppers or tenant farmers or cultivators, the Tripura cabinet approved ‘The Tripura Agricultural Land Leasing Bill, 2021’ to be introduced for implementation in the state assembly slated to begin on September 24 next.

Along with this ‘The Tripura Agricultural Land Leasing Bill, 2021’, the ‘Tripura Land Revenue & Land Reforms (7th Amendment) Bill, 2021’ will be amended for providing benefits to the sharecroppers, tenant farmers, and cultivators.

Speaking to the reporters at Civil Secretariat here in Agartala on Wednesday evening, Cabinet spokesperson and Education minister Ratanlal Nath said “It is observed that share croppers/tenant farmers/cultivator are facing problems to get loan from the state or central governments or cooperative society or scheduled banks or any other financial institutions due to lack of land records and other related documents as they have no land in their own name. Presently, there is no Act or Rule to help the sharecroppers/tenant famers/cultivators to get loan, insurance benefit, subsidized rate of seeds, fertilizers, etc.”

“Reserve Bank of India has also advised the state government to reform their legal framework based on Model Land Leasing Act proposed by NITI Aayog so that formal lending to tenant farmers can improve”, he added.

Nath said “Accordingly, the Revenue department has framed the draft of “Tripura Agricultural Land Leasing Bill, 2021” to facilitate crop loans for such cultivators under central government, co-operative society, scheduled banks or other financial institutions owned, controlled or managed by the state government or central government and to avail crop insurance, crop damages or other benefits and facilities without affecting the rights of the owner of the land and for matters connected there with”.

“The duration of the lease period shall be maximum for 9 years 11 month. However, this shall be decided and mutually agreed upon by the land owner and the lessee cultivator in front of Revenue officer. A lease agreement shall be entered into Record of Rights, but the leasing for a period as permitted shall not create any occupancy or protected tenancy or right against lawful eviction of lease termination, under this Act; an entry of ‘Ejara Dn’ (Bengali language) shall be recorded in column number 16 of in Record of Rights (khatian) and the entry shall be deemed to be invalid expiry of the lease period”, Cabinet spokesperson told media persons.

In Tripura, there are 4.72 lakh farmers and cultivable land of 2 lakh 55 thousand hectares while 1.76 lakh sharecroppers according to the 2011 census. Agricultural products produced are 8.36 lakh metric tonnes in the 2018-19 fiscal year, 8.55 lakh MTs in 2019-20 FY and 8.68 lakh MTs in 2020-21 FY while 9.27 lakh MTs of agricultural products is required per annum for this state.