Paddy land Act amendment: CPM yields to CPI pressure

By Times Of India on 14 Jun 2018 | read
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The government on Wednesday decided not to further dilute the Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland (Amendment) Bill following strong opposition from the CPI, a ruling coalition partner. The dilution would have made filling of paddy lands within corporation limits easier.

The decision on not to add an additional amendment to the existing amendment bill that is pending before the assembly was taken at a meeting chaired by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

The CPI had, earlier in the day, took a strong stand against the move at a meeting of CPM and CPI leaders, called to bring about a consensus on the issue. This meeting was attended by CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran. At the subsequent meeting convened by the chief minister, attended by law minister A K Balan and ministers from CPI, including revenue minister E Chandrasekharan and agriculture minister V S Sunil Kumar, the CPI nominees in the cabinet stuck to the party stand on the issue. Chandrasekharan later said the existing ordinance will become an Act but it will not contain any provisions that would dilute the rules that govern the filling of paddy fields within corporation limits.

When the amendment was discussed in the assembly, there were suggestions that the rules should be relaxed with a development perspective for the corporations. The move was to amend the Act in such a way that in the corporation limits, the permission of the government alone would suffice if the filling is for public purposes.

Meanwhile, officials who participated in the meeting convened by the CM said that no such amendment was discussed in the meeting. "The amendments discussed in the official-level meeting only talked about bringing changes while calculating the value of land that has been regularised prior to 2008 and other minor changes," said a source.