Vol. XLII No. 12 March 25, 2018

MAHARASHTRA: Govt Agrees to Implement Decisions on Kisan Sabha Demands

Below we publish the agreement reached between the government of Maharashtra and the Maharashtra Rajya Kisan Sabha on March 12, 2018 in the talks held with the chief minister at the conclusion of the long march. This agreement was tabled in the state assembly by the chief minister on March 13, 2018.

  1.  Time bound implementation of Forest Rights Act:

*      Decision on all pending claims/appeals shall be taken within six months on fast track basis.

*      In case the land awarded is less than in actual possession, it will be measured anew and will be awarded upto maximum four hectares according to Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Right to Forest) Act, 2006.

* An effective Authority shall be established to implement and oversee this process.

2.    Damming of waters of rivers Nar-Par, Damanganga, Vagh and Pinjal flowing into the Arabian Sea and divert it into the Girana and Godavari Valley; not give away water to Gujarat that rightfully belongs to Maharashtra

*      The National Water Development Authority of the central government has prepared the project of damming of water of Nar-Par, Damanganga, Vagh and Pinjal rivers flowing into the Arabian Sea and diverting it into the Girana-Godavari valley.

*      The draft agreement in this regard has been submitted to the central government on September 22, 2017. According to this agreement the water of Maharashtra in this valley will be dammed in Maharashtra itself and utilised for the state.

*      The Maharashtra government intends to complete this project in a time-bound manner.

*      31 small irrigation projects / Kolhapur type weirs in Kalwan-Surgana area shall be included in this project after ensuring their practicality.

 *      While implementing this project, utmost care shall be taken to ensure that tribal villages will not be displaced.

3.    Transferring to actual cultivators Devasthan (temple) land, inam land, benami, aakari pad and varkas lands

*      The government-appointed committee regarding Devasthan inam class III lands shall submit its report by April 2018 and a policy decision with regard to its recommendations shall be taken within the following two months.

*      The government has already taken the decision to return the ‘aakari pad’ and ‘varkas’ land to the original owners or their heirs and made due provision in the relevant act and rules thereunder. In case of encroachment by a third party of      ‘aakari pad’ land a policy decision shall be made within six months.

*      In case of benami lands, a committee under the regional commissioner, Nashik,       will be constituted to study the problem and policy decisions shall be made on the       basis of its report.

*      Encroachments by the homeless on pasture lands will be regularised.

4.    Total and comprehensive loan waiver to farmers and one and a half times prices for farm produce as recommended by the Swaminathan Commission

*      Funds to benefit 46.52 lakh farmers have been transferred to banks.

*      Amount has been deposited to the bank accounts of 35.51 lakh famers till date.

*      Efforts to follow up with the central government on the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations shall be made.

*      The farmers deprived of benefits in the 2008 loan waiver scheme due to their     default on loans during the period from 2001 to 2009 shall be given benefit of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Shetkari Sanman Yojana.

*      A review of the defaulters in the year 2016-17 shall be made and a proper scheme shall be devised to provide relief to them.

*      The loan up to Rs 1,50,000 shall be waived in case of a husband or wife or both and minor children.

*      On the demand that every member of a household be treated as an independent applicant, the chief minister assured that a decision shall be taken after ascertaining the financial burden if this demand is met. A committee shall be constituted in this respect and a decision shall be taken within a month and a half.

*      A committee shall be constituted to oversee the implementation of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Shetkari Sanman Yojana. The committee shall have ministers and agitating farmers’ representatives as its members.

*      The scheme shall also cover, apart from crop loans, term loans on other farm activities, Emu rearing, erecting shed-nets, poly-houses to waive an amount upto Rs 1,50,000.

*      Those farmers who have not been able to apply for the benefit of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Shetkari Sanman Yojana can now apply till March 31, 2018.

*      A separate meeting to decide the price of milk on the basis of the 70:30 formula shall be called.

*      The State Commission for Agricultural Cost and Prices shall be constituted in its entirety and implementation of provision of remunerative prices shall be made through it. Sugarcane Price Regulation Committee shall also be constituted.

5.    Implement Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Yojana, Shravan Bal and Indira GandhI Old Age Pension Yojana and increase amount under these schemes to Rs 2000.

*      The government is positive about this. A review shall be conducted as to how much amount can be increased under these schemes and a proper decision shall be made in the coming monsoon session of the assembly. The taluka level committees shall be constituted at the earliest.

*      For Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar and Shravan Bal schemes, one day of the month shall be fixed in each district to issue age certificates; MBBS degree holder doctors      in the primary health centres shall be authorised to issue these certificates.

6.    Change of old ration cards and division of combined ration cards

 *      The government is positive in this regard and this shall be completed within the next six months. The chief secretary shall personally investigate into the complaints about the availability of food-grains in the PDS shops at proper rates.

7.    Not acquiring farmers’ lands for development works in Samruddhi Mahamarg and Bullet Train Projects

*      Lands for these development works shall be obtained only with farmers’ consent.

8.    Cotton pink bollworm and hailstorm affected farmers be paid a compensation of Rs 40,000 per acre

A decision to compensate for these damages has been taken and the government order has been issued on February 23, 2018. Also a proposal is sent to the central government. However, without waiting for its decision, the disbursal of compensation to all affected farmers will be undertaken.

9.    The condition of the approval by the gram sabha for land acquisition is stayed under the   PESA only in cases of Very Essential Public Projects. However, assent of the concerned farmers is being obtained. The condition of the approval by the gram sabha will continue to operate in respect of private or other projects.