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Govt out to win over Opposition

india Updated: Sep 21, 2006 11:31 IST
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THE STATE Government has launched a major exercise to mobilise the Opposition for smooth passage of the controversial Revenue Code Bill in the State assembly on Thursday.

The Bill, which was tabled in the House recently, has already attracted criticism from various quarters. However, allaying apprehensions of the people, Revenue Minister Ambika Chaudhury told newspersons here on Wednesday that the entire exercise was aimed at simplifying revenue laws in the State. Chaudhury held long deliberations with representatives of the BJP, the Congress, the BSP and the RLD on Wednesday to arrive at a consensus on the issue.

The minister said the new legislation, while abolishing 39 redundant revenue laws, had incorporated provisions that would be easier for the common people.

He said its provisions had properly demarcated powers of civil and revenue courts. He also clarified that pending revenue cases would continue under existing laws. The abolition of existing laws, included the UP Zamindari Abolition and Land Regulation Act 1950, and the Land Revenue Act, 1901. Chaudhury said most of the Acts were old and had no relevance at present.

While retaining some of the provisions of the Zamindari Abolition Act, Chaudhury said there was a provision for land ceiling of 12.50 acre to stop more land holdings. The Bill has also proposed provisions for constitution of a bench in the Revenue Board for judicial matters. Moreover, district magistrates have been empowered to decide encroachment cases in rural areas. The proposed legislation has retained the existing law banning sale of SC/ST land to non-SC/ST people. The minister said ambiguity in collection of land revenue had been cleared in the new Bill. He also said the new law would help in quick disposal of revenue cases in courts.

Referring to the government’s ambitious farmers’ personal accident policy, which is being implemented by ICICI-Lombard, the minister said the scheme had benefited a large numbers of families in the state. The government had made a provision of Rs 20 crore in the current fiscal for the premium. The minister said all marginal farmers with land holdings had been covered under the scheme.

He said there was insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh in case of accidental death and Rs 50,000 in cases of permanent disability. He said instructions had been issued to the company to make payment within 60 days of receipt of claims.