Monday, January 17, 2011

Lok Satta demands new tenancy law

The Lok Satta Party today demanded that the Government immediately scrap the Tenancy Act of 1956 and enact a new law that takes care of the interests of both tenants and farmers.

Addressing media, party leaders G. Rajareddy, P, Bhaskara Rao and V, Vijayender Reddy pointed out that the 1956 Act was full of impractical provisions. Under the Act, a farmer who wants to sell his land should necessarily sell it to the tenant and that too at a rate not exceeding five times the lease amount. As a result, farmers by and large have chosen not to register their leases. There has been no change in the situation despite two subsequent amendments to the Act.

The Lok Satta leaders said that lakhs of tenants could not avail themselves of bank loans, subsidized seeds and other inputs, and crop insurance since their leases are not unregistered. Deprived of bank credit, the tenants, most of them belonging to weaker sections, borrow funds at exorbitant rates from money lenders. They suffer body blows when a natural calamity like drought or cyclone hits them.

The Lok Satta leaders said that the Government move to enact a law providing for issuance of loan eligibility cards to tenants would not serve the purpose unless the old Act is scrapped. They wanted the Government to enact a new tenancy law under which the farmer is assured of his title to land and the tenant is assured of lease for a certain specified period. Tenants should be issued cards only after the passage of the new law.

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