|2nd Five Year Plan||
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Policies and programmes which are to be followed in different sectors of the economy during the second five year plan represent a balanced and combined approach to the central problems of economic development and social justice. Among these, measures of land reform have a place of special significance, both because they provide the social, economic and institutional framework for agricultural development and because of the influence they exert on the life of the vast majority of the population. Indeed, their impact extends much beyond the rural economy. The principles of change and reorganisation on which the scheme of land reform is based are paTt of a wider social and economic outlook which must needs apply in. some degree to every part of the economy. They have therefore to be viewed in a somewhat larger context than that of effecting adjustments between the interests of different sections of the population which depend on land.
2. In setting out the land policy for the period of the First five year plan, while a proper emphasis was placed on the social aspect, it was pointed out that the increase of agricultural production represented the highest priority in planning over the next few years, and that the agricultural economy had to be diversified and brought to much higher levels of efficiency. These considerations have a special importance during the period of the second five year plan. In the first place, the ambitious programme of industrial development which is now being undertaken, implies large and steadily increasing claims both on raw materials and on food production. Increase in the supply of raw materials was the principal factor behind the growth of industrial production achieved during the first plan. India's ability to produce a range of agricultural commodities for which there is world-wide demand, such as tea, jute, cotton, oilseeds. and others is an element in her industrial potential which must be developed to the greatest possible extent. In recentyears imports of food have been on a much smaller scale than before, but food production has yet to reach levels at which nutrition can be improved and domestic requirements are fully assured under all circumstances, and, at the same time. a margin remains to pay for imports of machinery and of industrial raw materials needed for rapid industrialisation. Moreover, with increase in population, growth of towns, cities and industrial centres, and improvement in incomes and standards of living, the internal demand for food is already increasing in volume and becoming more diverse. Equally, as explained in earlier chapters, the large outlay to be undertaken in the second five year plan can only be sustained if internal production, especially of food and cloth, is rapidly stepped up. Thus, the need to enhance the capacity of Indian agriculture to provide the surpluses needed to support industrial development and the wider economic considerations on which the fulfilment of the plan depends both lead to the same conclusion, namely, that a substantial increase in agricultural production, diversification of the agricultural economy, and the building up of an efficient and progressive system of agricultural production are among the most urgent tasks to be accomplished during the second five year plan.
3. Against the background of these considerations. the objectives of land reform are twofold: firstly, to remove such impediments upon agricultural production as arise from the character of the agrarian structure; and secondly, to create conditions for evolving, as speedily as may be possible, an agrarian economy with high levels of efficiency and productivity. These aspects are interrelated, some measures of land reform bearing more directly on the first aim, others to a greater extent on the second. Thus, the abolition of intermediaries and the protection given to tenants arc intended to give to the tiller of the soil his rightful place in the agrarian system and, by reducing or eliminating burdens he has borne in the past. to provide him with fuller incentives for increasing agricultural production. Similarly, to bring tenants into direct relation with the State and to put an end to the tenant-landlord nexus are essential steps in the establishment of a stable rural economy. In the conditions of India large disparities in the distribution of wealth and income are inconsistent with economic progress in any sector. This consideration applies with even greater force to land. The area of land available for cultivation is necessarily limited. In the past rights in land were the principal factor which determined both social status and economic opportunity for different groups in the rural population. For building up a progressive rural economy, it is essential that disparities in the ownership of land should be greatly reduced. In view of the existing pattern of distribution and size of agricultural holdings, redistribution of land in excess of a ceiling may yield relatively limited results. Neverthless, it is important that some effective steps should be taken in this direction during the second five year plan so as to affored opportunities to landless sections of the rural population to gain in social status and to feel a sense of opportunity equally with other sections of the community. Reduction of disparities in the ownership of land is also essential for developing a co-operative rural economy, for, co-operation thrives best in homogeneous groups in which there are no large inequalities. Thus, programmes for abolishing intermediary tenures, giving security to tenants and bringing tenants into direct relationship with the State with a view to conferring ownership upon them are steps which lead to the establishment of an agrarian economy based predominantly on peasant ownership.
4. Small and uneconomic agricultural holdings have long been the most difficult problem in the development of the rural economy. There is general agreement that it is through reorganisation along cooperative lines that Indian agriculture can become efficient and productive. During the second five year plan it is proposed to take a series of measures which will lay the foundations for co-operative reorganisation of the rural economy. Once the vast majority of cultivators become owners or virtual owners of land in their own right, programmes for the consolidation of holdings asssume a great deal of urgency both in themselves and as a stage in the development of cooperation. In carrying out these programmes sufficient experience has been gained in several parts of the country for marked progress to be achieved in this field during the second five year plan. Closely associated with consolidation is the adoption of improved land management practices. It is one of the primary aims of the national extension and community projects to help the people of each village and each area to organise themselves for greater production, to bring them technical guidance and other assistance and in particular, to assist weaker and under-privileged sections of the rural community in raising their standards. Conditions have to be created in which an increasing number of activities in rural economic life, both non-agricultural and agricultural, are undertaken through co-operative organisations. As the village is the most convenient unit for rural community development, various measures to be undertaken for developing co-operatives and panchayats and for strengthening rural economic life through the organisation of national extension services, credit, marketing and processing and village and small industries are intended to lead to the development in each area, according to its conditions, of suitable systems of cooperative village management. Co-operation in one field stimulates and supports co-operation in others. Co-operative development is a vast and growing field of constructive endeavour and, for cooperation to evoke a degree of sustained enthusiasm and effort, it is important that it should be organised with the utmost attention to efficiency in management.
As different phases of the land reform programme are implemented, care
has to be taken to ensure that the positive aspects are especially stressed,
and measures of land reform worked outwith a view to increased agricultural
production. From this aspect the national extension and community development
programmes, and programmes for agricultural development, rural credit
and marketing and others are as vital to the success of land reform as
land reform is vital to their success. Naturally, while the direction
may be clear, the pace and the precise content of land reform programmes
have to be related closely to the conditions prevailing in each State.
Land reform imposes upon the machinery of the Government large administrative
responsibilities and, as pointed out later in this chapter, tasks of great
complexity, to which many State administrations may not yet feel equal,
have to be undertaken in the course of a few years. Almost all of them
demand a wide measure of public support and understanding and much mutual
adjustment within the community. There are also many intangible factors
which each State has necessarily to take into account These considerations
have been kept in view during the first five year plan in the work of
the Central Committee for Land Reforms, which includes members of the
Planning Commission and the principal Central Ministers concerned, and
reviews from time to time the progress of land reform in different parts
of the country. They have also been kept in view by the Panel on Land
Reform, which has assisted the Planning Commission during the past year
in the study of various problems connected with tenancy reform, size of
holdings, reorganisation of agriculture and Bhoodan. The proposals for
land reform and cooperative development set out in the plan are therefore
in the nature of a broad common approach which has to be adapted and pursued
in each State as part of the national plan with due regard to local conditions
and in response to local needs.
6. A few years ago intermediary tenures prevailed over half the country. In some States, legislation for the abolition of intermediaries was enacted before 1951. Most of the work relating to the enactment of laws and the acquisition of intermediary areas has, however, been undertaken during the period of the first plan. Intermediaries have been almost entirely abolished. A few small pockets remain where further action for abolition is necessary, such as temporarily settled estates in Assam, zamindaris in Rajasthan, minor intermediary tenures such as service inams and other minor inams in a number of States, and intermediary areas in some Part 'C' States such as Coorg, Kutch and Tripura. In the early stages the implementation of some of the laws was held up on account of writ petitions filed by intermediaries challenging the constitutional validity of the legislation. The Constitution was amended in 1952 with a view to resolving this difficulty.
7. The abolition of intermediaries is an essential step, but it imposes a heavy strain upon the administrative resources of State Governments. The tasks to be undertaken include the determination and payment of compensation to intermediaries, arrangements for the preparation or revision of records showing the names and holdings of tenants and the rent or revenue which they are liable to pay to the State Government as a result of the abolition, establishment of agencies for collection of rent or revenue and for maintenance of records. Areas which intermediaries are entitled, to retain have to be demarcated and arrangements made for the management and development of common lands which become the property of the State.
8. Progress was comparatively easy in the temporarily settled areas, such as Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, where adequate records and administrative machinery existed. In the permanently settled areas ofBihar, Orissa, and West Bengal and in areas under Jagirdari settlements such as Rajasthan and Saurashtra, land records and revenue administration had to be built up almost from the beginning. Nevertheless, laws abolishing intermediary tenures have been given effect to in most of the States.
9. The general pattern of abolition of intermediaries comprises the following measures:
(1) Common lands such as waste lands, forests, abadi-sites etc., which belonged to intermediaries were vested in the State Government for purposes of management and development.
Home-farm lands and lands under the personal cultivation of intermediaries
were generally left with them and lessees of home-farms continued as tenants
under them. In some States, however, tenants of home-farms of intermediaries
were also brought into direct relation with the State and the rights of
intermediaries over their tenancy lands were abolished. These include
Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Bharat (Jagirdari areas), Delhi, Ajmer and Bhopal.
In Rajasthan and Madhya Bharat (zamin-dari areas) an optional right to
purchase ownership was given to such tenants. In most of the States, intermediaries
were not allotted any land for personal cultivation over and above lands
already in their cultivating possession and included in their own home-farms.
In a few States, however, such as Hyderabad and Mysore (in the case of
Inams), Rajasthan, Saurashtra, Ajmer, Bhopal and Vindhya Pradesh, intermediaries
were allotted lands for personal cultivation if the area already held
by them was less than that specified in the legislation.
10. The total amount of compensation and rehabilitation assistance payable to intermediaries is estimated to be in the neighbourhood ofRs. 450 crores. Uttar Pradesh and Bihar together account for about 70 per cent. of the total amount of compensation. As a rule, the rate of compensation has been fixed as a multiple of the net income of the intermediaries from their estates. In most States, higher multiples were allowed to persons in the lower income groups. Abolition of intermediary rights leads to increase in the amount of revenue accruing to the State. Compensation payments are financed out of such increases. Compensation is payable sometimes in cash but generally in the form of bonds which are transferable and negotiable and are also redeemable over a period which may vary from 10 to 40 years. The assessment of compensation and the issue of bonds in lieu of compensation to a large number of intermediaries has been a task of considerable magnitude. In most States, the administrative machinery had to be reinforced with a view to expediting this work. Considerable work relating to the determination and payment of compensation, however, still remains to be done. In particular, it is necessary to speed up the payment of compensation to small intermediaries and to widows and minors.
Rights Of Owners
11. With the abolition of intermediaries the existing tenures may be broadly classified into two main categories, namely, owners who hold land directly from the State and tenants who hold land from owners. Their rights and obligations had generally been regulated under tenancy laws enacted in the various States from time to time. The bulk of the tenants had acquired security of tenure and their rents had been regulated. In many States they had also obtained considerable rights of transfer. There were, however, differences in the quantum of rights enjoyed by the various classes of tenants and often a large variety of tenures existed. On abolition of intermediaries, the multiplicity of tenures has been greatly reduced and for the most part tenants holding land under intermediaries have become owners of land. It is desirable that a fairly uniform pattern of ownership should be evolved which conforms to certain commonly agreed rights and obligations.
12. Ownership of land entails certain obligations. The most important of these concerns the use and management of land. This aspect is considered in a later section of this chapter-In a number of States, as part of legislation relating to consolidation of holdings, measures for preventing fragmentation have been adopted. It frequently happens, however, that such measures are not adequately enforced. Provisions against the creation of fragments or their further splitting up by transfer or partition and regulation of the transfer of existing fragments are essential in the interest of agricultural development.
13. In some States, over a considerable area persons who hold land directly from the State do not possess the right of transfer. Such owners can obtain short-term loans, on the security of the crop but, in the absence of alternative security, they may not be able to avail of facilities offered by co-operative credit institutions for medium and long-term loans. It is,therefore, desirable that every individual who holds land directly from the State should have the right to mortgage land in order to obtain loans from Government and from co-operatives on the security of land.
14. In some States the right to lease land has been limited to persons who suffer from some disability such as widows, minors, persons serving in the armed forces, etc. Experience suggests that complete prohibition of leases introduces a degree of rigidity in the rural economy and is difficult to enforce administratively. It was visualised in the First Five Year Plan that, to the extent leases of land are permitted, in principle it would be desirable that they should be made through the village panchayat The practice should be encouraged whenever possible. In any event when leases are made directly they should be for minimum periods of 5 to 10 years.
15. Over the years the tenancy problem grew in magnitude from three different directions. Firstly, intermediaries did not always cultivate their home-farm lands and frequently these lands were let out to tenants. Secondly, tenants, holding lands from intermediaries, who have now come into direct relation with the State, sometimes leased lands to subtenants. Thirdly, in ryotwari areas a considerable proportion of land held by ryots has been cultivated by tenants.
16. In different States provisions for security of tenure have taken a variety of forms and there are large differences in detail. Broadly speaking. States maybe classified into the following categories:
U.P. and Delhi fall into the first category; Bombay, Punjab, Rajasthan, Hyderabad and Himacha Pradesh in the second; and Assam, Madhya Pradesh (Berar), Orissa, Pepsu and Kutch in the third. In U.P., tenants, who were brought into direct relation with the State, were given permanent and heritable rights. The State recovers rent from them and pays compensation in the form of bonds to owners. In Delhi tenants received full ownership rights and were required to pay compensation to owners in addition to the payment of land revenue to Government; compensation being recoverable as arrears of land revenue. In Bombay a land-owner is permitted to resume half the land leased to a tenant subject to a maximum of three economic holdings, the size of the economic holding varying from 4 to 16 acres, depending upon the quality of the land. In Punjab, resumption is limited generally to 30 "standard acres" and a tenant cannot be ejected from a minimum area of 5 "standard acres" unless the State Government is able to allot alternative land from the pool of "surplus" land obtained from owners holding more than 30 "standard acres". In Hyderabad, the tenant is generally entitled to retain a basic holding except where an owner himself owns a basic holding or less. In Rajasthan generally tenants are allowed to retain a prescribed minimum holding. In Himachal Pradesh a land owner may resume upto 5 acres and the tenant is entitled to retain three-fourths of his holding. In the third category, the limit of area which may be-resumed, has been set at 33-1/3 acres in Assam, 50 acres in Madhya Pradesh (Berar), 30 standard acres in Pepsu, 50 acres in Kutch and 7 to 14 acres in Orissa. In other parts of the country there are large variations, and in many cases tenants are afforded much less protection than in the States mentioned above. While summing up the position as it emerges from the enactments which have been passed, it is necessary to recognize that there are large variations in the degree of practical implementation in different parts of the country and that even in the same State some parts of the tenancy legislation are carried out to a greater extent than others.
17. During the past few years, there have been instances in some States of large-scale ejectment of tenants, and of "voluntary surrender" of tenancies. The main causes are ignorance on the part of the people of legislative provisions regarding security of tenure, possible lacunae in the law, inadequate land records and defective administrative .arrangements. Most "voluntary surrenders" of tenancies are open to doubt as bonafide transactions. It is recommended that action should be taken to stay ejectment of tenants and sub-tenants except on ground of non-payment of rent or mis-use of land. Ejectment of tenants and surrenders which may have taken place during, say, the past three years should be reviewed with a view to restoration wherever circumstances justify such a course. In order to discourage "voluntary surrenders" of land under undue pressure, for the future, provision may be made that surrender of land by a 'tenant will not be regarded as valid unless it is duly registered by the revenue authorities. In such cases the landlord should be entitled to take possession of the land only to the extent of his right of resumption.
Meaning Of Personal Cultivation
18. In giving effect to legislation for the protection of tenants some difficulties have arisen which can be traced to the deflniton of the expression "personal cultivation", which is frequently used, but not always with the same meaning. In all States "personal cultivation" includes cultivation through servants or hired labourers. There are variations, however, in respect of the nature of supervision over cultivation and the mode of payment to servants or hired labourers which are prescribed by legislation. In a number of States, there are no restrictions on the kind of supervision which may be exercised. In Bombay, Saurashtra and a few'other States supervision may be exercised by the owner or a member of his family but the expression 'family' is not defined. As regards the mode of payment, in Bombay and a few other States payment can be made in cash or in kind but not by way of a share of the produce, whereas in Punjab servants or hired labourers may be paid in any manner. It is desirable that a degree of uniformity in the use of the term "personal cultivation" should be introduced.
19. "Personal cultivation" may be said to have three elements, namely, risk of cultivation, personal supervision and labour. A person who does not bear the entire risk of cultivation or parts with a share of the produce in favour of another cannot be described as cultivating the land personally. The expression "personal supervision" may include supervision by the owner or by a member of his family. In order to be effective, supervision should be accompanied by residence during the greater part of the agricultural season on the part of an owner or a member of his family in the village in which the land is situated or in a nearby village, within a distance to be prescribed. As an element in personal cultivation, the performance of minimum labour, though correct in principle, presents difficulties in practice. It is, therefore, suggested that the expression "personal cultivation" should be defined so as to provide for the entire risk of cultivation being borne by the owner and personal supervision being exercised in the manner described above by the owner or by a member of his family. When land is to be resumed for personal cultivation, however, the desirability of providing also for the third element in personal cultivation, namely, personal labour, may be considered. If the land is not brought under personal cultivation or is let out within a period to be specified, the ejected tenant should have the right of restoration.
20. Existing legislation should be re-examined in terms of the definition of "personal cultivation" set out above, and suitable action taken to confer tenancy rights on individuals who have in the past been treated merely as labourers or as 'partners in cultivation'. Because the defmiton of "personal cultivation" has been generally defective in the past, in a number of States crop-sharing arrangements which have all the characteristics of tenancy are not regarded as such and crop-shares are denied rights allowed to tenants.
Resumption For Personal Cultivation
21. A number of difficult problems relating to tenancy legislation centre on the issue of resumption of land for personal cultivation. It is comm6n practice to provide in the legislation that persons serving in the armed forces, unmarried women, widows, minors and persons suffering from mental or physical infirmities should be permitted to lease out land and should have the right to resume for personal cultivation when the disability ceases.
In the case of Defence Services personnel, it is of the highest importance that tenancy legislation should not place them under any handicap as compared to those who are able to reside in the village and cultivate their lands. Persons serving in the armed forces should have a feeling of security and full assurance that their interests would not be adversely affected. If they are owners of land, they should have the right to lease it; if they are tenants, they should have the right to sub-let the land. In cither case their existing rights should remain intact. On retirement or discharge. Defence Services personnel should have unrestricted rights to resume land for personal cultivation from the tenant or sub-tenant as the case may be.
22. On general grounds, it is accepted that resumption of land for personal cultivation should be permitted. In the First Five Year Plan it was proposed that the limit of resumption for personal cultivation should be set at three times the family holding. Resumption was to be on grounds of personal cultivation only and was to be limited to the area which the adult workers in a family could bring under cultivation. In implementing this recommendation over the past three years, it has been observed that this approach calls for safeguards for reducing the risk of large-scale ejectment of tenants. The practical question which arises is, how the interest of an owner who wishes to cultivate personally and of a tenant who may be deprived of his living on account of resumption, should be reconciled. Limits to the area which can be resumed have been prescribed in a large number of States. Below the level of what may be prescribed as the ceiling, two sets of problems arise, namely, those concerning small owners who may have less than a family holding and those concerning owners whose area is in excess of one family holding but less than the ceiling limit.
23. The economic circumstances of small owners are not so different from those of tenants that tenancy legislation should operate to their disadvantage. It is desirable that a small owner wishing to resume land for personal cultivation should be permitted to do so. At the same time, it is difficult to disregard the position of the tenant. There is a consensus of opinion that owners with very small holdings should be permitted to resume their entire area. The limit may be set at what is described as a "basic holding". The expression "basic holding" is employed in legislation relating to the prevention of fragmentation which generally defines the minimum area needed for profitable cultivation. For practical purposes it may be convenient to assume that a family holding is made up, say, of three "basic holdings". Thus, owners with less than one-third of a family holding, may be free to resume their entire area for personal cultivation. As regards owners whose holdings lie between a basic holding and a family holding, the recommendation is that they should be permitted to resume for personal cultivation one-half of the area held by the tenant, but in no event less than a basic holding. Where tenants are left without any land or with areas smaller than a basic holding, the suggestion is that the Government should endeavour to find land for them so as to bring the tenancy to the level of a basic holding. To an extent this effort would be facilitated when ceilings are imposed and areas in excess of the ceiling become available.
24. In the case of owners whose holdings fall between one family holding and the limit prescribed for resumption for personal cultivation, the main consideration is that a minimum area should always be left with the tenants. What this minimum should be would depend upon the area of land which an owner has under personal cultivation. It is proposed that
(1) where the land-owner has under his personal cultivation land which exceeds a family holding but is less than the ceiling limit, he may have the right to resume land for personal cultivation, provided that his tenant is left with a family holding and the total area obtained by the owner together with the land already under his personal cultivation does not exceed the ceiling;
(2) if the land-owner has less than a family holding under his personal cultivation, he may be allowed to resume one half of the tenant's holding or an area which, together with land under his personal cultivation, makes up a family holding, whichever is less, provided that the tenant is left with not less than a basic holding.
25. It is desirable that the area which the landowner is entitled to resume should be demarcated as speedily as possible. A reasonable period, say, six months, should be prescribed within which the landowner should apply for such demarcation and the resumable and non-resumable areas should be determined by revenue authorities in an equitable manner. In areas in excess of the limit of resumption for personal cultivation, tenants should have continuing and heritable possession. They should also have limited rights of transfer which would enable them to obtain loans on the security of land from Government and from co-operative societies. Tenants of lands liable to resumption for personal cultivation should have heritable (but not permanent) rights and the right: to make improvements. It is also desirable to prescribe a period within which the right of resumption may be exercised so that thereafter rights of ownership maybe conferred on the tenants. For this purpose, the period of live years contemplated in the First Five Year Plan appears to be sufficient. In the case of small owners it is not necessary to prescribe a period during which resumption for personal cultivation should necessarily take place.
Regulation of Rent
26. In the First Five Year Plan it was stated that a rate of rent exceeding one-fourth or one-fifth of the produce should be regarded as requiring special justification. Progress in the regulation of rents has been uneven and in several States legislation lags behind. Considerable variations exist at present Thus, in Rajasthan and Bombay the maximum rent has been fixed at one-sixth of the produce; in Delhi, Ajmer and in certain cases in Assam and Hyderabad at one-fifth; in Orissa, Himachal Pradesh, parts of Mysore and in certain cases in Assam, Hyderabad and Vindhaya Pradesh at one fourth; in Punjab, Pepsu, parts of Mysore and in certain cases in Kutch at one-third; and in Bihar at 7/20th of the produce. At the other end are the rates of rent prevailing in Madras and West Bengal In Madras the rent is regulated in the districts of Tanjore and Malabar only. In Tanjore the rent amounts to 60 per cent. of the gross produce of the principal crops and in Malabar it is generally one-half of the net produce. In West Bengal a crop-sharer has to give 40 per cent of the produce if he meets the cost of cultivation and 50 per cent. if the landlord meets the cost. In. some States, as in Andhra, rents have not been regulated at all. It is necessary that, as early as possible, the rents should be brought down to the level recommended in the First Five Year Plan. It would also be desirable to provide for the commutation of produce rents into cash rents. In addition to the usual form of regulation of rents it may be useful also to fix the maximum rent as a multiple of land revenue.
Rights of Ownership For Tenants
27. It is an agreed objective that early steps should be taken to enable tenants cf non-resumable areas to become owners of their holdings. Progress in this direction has been slow. As an immediate measure, it is recommended that all tenants of non-resumable areas should be brought into direct relationship with the State. In this context reduction of rents has high priority. Once rents are brought down to reasonable levels it is important that each State should have a programme for converting tenants of non-resumable areas into owners and putting an end to vestiges of the tenant-landlord realtionship. In Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, as stated earlier, all tenants have been brought into direct relationship with the State. In other States the question has been approached in two different ways. In legislation enacted in Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Hyderabad, Madhya Bharat, Rajastban and a few other States, tenants have been given an optional right of purchase, but in two States (Hyderabad and Himachal Pradesh) the Government has also taken power to establish direct relationship with tenants. It has been observed that where rights of purchase are optional they are scarcely exercised. One of the main reasons why tenants are unable to buy out landlord's rights is that they do not have a surplus from which to pay.
28. As suggested above, it appears desirable to go beyond giving an optional right of purchase and instead to take steps to bring all tenants of non-resumable areas into direct relationship with the State. This was visualised in the First Five Year Plan which suggested that for areas in excess of the limit for resumption the general policy should be to enable tenants to become owners. If this course is followed, three possibilities exist:
In the first and the second alternatives, the State will issue compensatory bonds which may be redeemable over, say, a period of 20 years. If the first alternative is adopted, the compensation would be based upon the increase in the income of the State Government that is, the difference between the land revenue payable by the owners and the fair rent payale by the tenants who are brought into direct contact with the State. This method raises certain difficulties on account of the fact that rent levels vary a great deal and are likely to be progressively reduced. A firm basis or determining the compensation may not thus be available. The third alternative leads to a degree of uncertainty on account of the fact that tenants may default in the payment of instalments. On the whole, therefore, the balance of advantage appears to lie in favour of the second of the three methods set out above. If, however, the burden of payment falling upon the tenant is not to be too excessive, it would be necessary to ensure that the aggregate of the annual payment in the form of land revenue and the instalments of compensation does not exceed the level of rent, recommended in the Plan, that is, one-fourth or one-fifth of the total produce. It is contemplated that the aggregate amount of compensation and interest would be fully recovered from the tenants and would throw no additional financial burden upon State Governments.
29. In assessing the progress made in the transfer of ownership to tenants, it has been difficult during the first five year plan to obtain precise information. In this respect regular annual returns need to be compiled in the States.
Distribution And Size Of Holdings
30. The First Five Year Plan has accepted the principle that there should be an absolute limit to the amount of land which an individual may hold. It was suggested that this limit should be fixed by each State having regard to its own agrarian history and its present problems. Attention was drawn to the lack of reliable information concerning the distribution and size of holdings and it was proposed that a census of land holdings and cultivation should be undertaken. Following this recommendation State Governments were requested in January 1954, to undertake such a census. It was agreed that in respect of areas where annual village records are maintained, the census should be conducted generally through the revenue agency of the State Government on the basis of complete enumeration of the data contained in the village records supplemented by such other inquiries as might be necessary. To expedite the census it was later agreed at an inter-State conference held in November, 1954, that State Governments could, if they felt necessary, restrict the census to holdings of 10 acres and above. For areas where annual village records are not maintained, sample surveys were proposed.
31. The main concepts employed in the census were the following:
32. In carrying out any large scheme of land reform, differences in quality of land have to be reduced to some common measure. Following the experience gained in the resettlement of displaced persons in Punjab and Pepsu, where more than half'a million families were settled on about 5 million acres of land with due regard to the rights and quality of land abandoned by them in Pakistan, States were requested to work out suitable formulae for "standard acres". Lands of different qualities in each State could then be valued in terms of the approved "standard acre". Thus, a "standard acre" is an acre of land of a given quality to which other classes of land can be related for purposes of valuation. In some States the "standard acre" has been determined with reference to the productivity of land in terms of yields recorded at settlements or other available data; in others, in relation to the class of irrigation or in terms of a given amount of land revenue assessment or rent rates. Sometimes more than one criterion has been used in combination. Being related to particular States or regions further study would be needed before attempting to use "standard acres" for different areas as a basis for inter-State or inter-regional comparisons. Within a State or a region, however, a scheme of valuation such. as most States have now evolved is an essential tool for implementing a programme for resettlement and redistribution of land. At some future date it may be possible to undertake investigations leading to the evolution of a "standard acre" for the entire country to which State or regional "standard acres" can be related for purposes of comparison.
33. The census of land holding and cultivation has been carried out in 22 States. The data generally relate to the year 1953-54. In 10 States it has been based on complete enumeration of all holdings namely, Andhra, Bombay, Madhya Pradesh, Madras, Hyderabad, Madhya Bharat, Saurashtra, Ajmer, Bhopal and Kutch. In 7 States the census has been based on complete enumeration but was 'restricted to holdings of 10 acres and above, namely, Punjab, Pepsu, Mysore, Coorg, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Vindhya Pradesh. In Uttar Pradesh, where annual village records are maintained, the State Government decided to have a sample survey as the revenue staff was pre-occupied with work relating to consolidation of holdings. In Bihar, Orissa, Rajasthan and Travancore-Cochin, where annual village records are not fully available, sample surveys were undertaken. In Assam and West Bengal the State Governments had earlier collected some data regarding land holdings. West Bengal has already enacted legislation and Assam has passed a Bill for imposition of ceilings. In Jammu and Kashmir also, where a ceiling had been imposed earlier, a special census was not considered necessary. In Manipur and Tripura, due to difficulties of terrain and lack of personnel, the proposal for a census of land holdings and cultivation was dropped. For 20 States the results of the census have become available and reports from other States are shortly expected.
34. The data collected relate to size and ^distribution of (a) holdings classified according to area owned and (b) holdings classified according to area under personal cultivation. The data which have been reported are provisional. For most States information is available both in ordinary acres as well as in standard acres. Since valuation into standard acres is intended to facilitate implementation within each State and is not a basis for inter-State comparisons, in the Annex-ure II to this chapter the available data are set out only in ordinary acres. In due course it is proposed to publish a special report on the results of the census.
Ceiling On Agricultural Holdings
35. The principle that there should be an absolute limit to the amount of land which an individual may hold was commended in the First Five Year Plan. The census of land holdings and cultivation has made available to States a considerable body of information for implementing proposals for the imposition of ceilings. The data thrown up by the census have to be studied carefully before detailed schemes can be worked out. The general lines on which the problem may be approached are set out in this chapter; necessarily, in terms of these recommendations details of policy would have to be formulated carefully by each State. The principal questions for consideration are:
36. The imposition of a ceiling has two aspects, namely, (1) ceiling on future acquisition and (2) ceiling on existing holdings. A ceiling on future acquisition exists in U.P. at 30 acres, in Delhi at 30 standard acres, in Bombay at 12 to 48 acres depending upon the class of land, in West Bengal at 25 acres, in Hyderabad at three family holdings, in Saurashtra at three economic holdings and in Madhya Bharat at 50 acres. In other States the imposition of the ceiling on future acquisition needs to be expedited.
37. It is proposed that during the second five year plan steps should be taken in each State to impose ceilings on existing agricultural holdings. The ceilings would apply to owned land (including land under permanent and heritable rights) held under personal cultivation, tenants being enabled to acquire rights of ownership on lines indicated earlier.
38. An important question which has to be considered is whether the ceiling should apply to holdings of individuals or to holdings of families. In favour of the latter proposal, the main consideration is that in agriculture the appropriate unit is the family rather than the individual. From this aspect, a Committee of the Panel on Land Reform set up by the Planning Commission has recommended that the ceiling should apply to the total area held by a family, the expression "family" being deemed to include husband, wife, and dependant sons, daughters and grand-children. On the other hand, in the census of land holdings and cultivation the entire agricultural land held by a person in a State was taken to constitute a single holding, and in the case of joint holdings, the share of each co-sharer was treated as a separate holding. Since land census records.along with affidavits and other returns which may be obtained, will generally be the basis for carrying out the policy of ceilings in different parts of a State, there would appear to be administrative advantages in adopting the view taken in the census. Against this has to be set the consideration that thereby the area available for redistribution would be smaller.
39. Whichever course is adopted, it is important that suitable action should be taken in respect of malafide transfers of land. If individual holdings are taken as the basis for the enforcement of ceilings, there would be greater scope for malafide transfers and special measures would need to be devised to deal with the problem. It is necessary that each State should give urgent attention to the effect of malafide transfers made during the past two or three years with the intention of circumventing ceilings on holdings and should consider action needed to prevent such transfers in the immediate future. Transfers of land which have already taken place should be reviewed. In respect of lands, if any, retained by a transferor the question should be considered whether the ceiling should be determined as if the transfer had not laken place. In respect of future transfers also. States have to take steps to prevent transactions of a malafide character.
Level Of Ceiling
40. In determining the level at which the ceiling should apply there is need for some convenient unit which could be. indicated in a general way and later worked out in detail for different areas. In the First Five Year Plan it was suggested that for this and other purposes multiples of what may be regarded as a "family holding" in any given area may be used. A family holding may be considered from two aspects, namely, (a) as an operational unit, and (b) as an area of land which can yield a certain average income. In the First Five Year Plan, a "family holding" was described as an area equivalent, according to local conditions and under existing conditions of technique, either to a plough unit or to a work unit for a family of average size working with such assistance as is customary in agricultural occupations. The income from a given area of land depends on the crops grown, the level of agricultural efficiency and the amount of investment which is made. A given area of land may yield different incomes to different individuals, depending on their skill, capacity and resources. As improved agricultural practices are adopted and agriculture becomes more efficient and diversified, income per unit of land should increase steadily. Thus, it is difficult to correlate a family holding to a given level of money income adjusted to a supposed level of prices. The balance of convenience, therefore, lies in favour of each State specifying, according to the conditions of different regions, classes of soil, irrigation, etc., the area of land which may be declared to be a family holding. The practical application of the concept of family holding is not without its difficulties and it might be of value to States-ifa small group of experts with practical experience of settlement and revenue work could study the subject further.
In view of the fact that only small fraction of agricultural holdings can be described as large holdings, it will be convenient to place the ceiling at about three family holdings. If the ceiling is determined with reference to individual holdings, it might not be necessary to take further account of the number of members in an individual owner's family. On the other hand, if the ceiling applies to the area held by a family, it would be necessary to prescribe some method for taking account of the number of members in a family. According to its social conditions and other relevant factors, each State may determine wheher the ceiling should apply to individual holdings or to holdings of families and, especially in the latter event, the basis on which the size of the family should be allowed for in the application of the ceiling. For Instance, the Committee of the Panel on Land reforms to which reference has been made above was of the view that where the number of members of a family is larger than five, the ceiling of the family holding may be raised to a maximum of six family holdings.
Exemptions From The Ceiling
41. While determining the general ceiling on agricultural holdings in a' State, it will also be necessary to consider the categories of'farms to which the ceiling need not apply. Three main factors could be taken into account in deciding upon exemptions from the purview of the ceiling, namely,
If these considerations are kept in view, there would appear to be an advantage in exempting the following categories of farms from the operation of ceilings which may be proposed:
In the nature of things these are general suggestions which should be adapted to the needs and conditions of each State. For instance, in those parts of the country where culturable wastelands are available and a sufficient number of cultivators are not always easy to obtain, a ceiling may not be necessary at this stage or may be set at a higher level than that envisaged here. Similarly, there may be areas in which the level of the ceiling may be lower because of the high density of population.
42. The basis on which compensation should be paid to owners whose areas are acquired and the basis on which the price of land should be recovered from persons to whom allotments are made are important questions of policy.to be considered by each State Government in the light of its conditions. As regards the former, generally speaking, it will be convenient for State Governments to issue compensatory bonds redeemable over a period of, say, 20 years. The compensation to be paid to owners may be determined either as specified amounts related to different classes of land or in terms of a multiple of land revenue or in such other manner as may be considered feasible. As regards the price to be recovered from persons to whom lands are given, it will be necessary to prescribe the amounts to be recovered and the period over which instalments may be spread. It would be desirable to ensure that the total annual burden falling on cultivators to whom lands are allotted does not exceed the fair level of rent recommended earlier, that is, one-fourth or one-fifth of the gross produce. If land reform operations are organised in the manner suggested above, it is envisaged that the aggregate amount of compensation and interest would not throw any additional liability on State Governments.
Schemes Of Resettlement
43. In the settlement of lands acquired in consequence of the application of ceilings, tenants displaced as a result of resumption of land for personal cultivation, farmers with uneconomic holdings and landless workers should receive preference. Settlements should be made as far as possible on co-operative lines. Farmers with uneconomic holdings below the basic level should be admitted into co-operatives constituted with surplus lands if they also agree to pool their lands. In such cases the tenants should not have the right to claim partition of the surplus lands which are allotted to co-operatives.
44. The problems of landless workers which have to be considered in connection with land reform, are discussed in chapter XVI. It is recognised that with the existing pressure on land only a small proportion of agricultural workers can be settled on land. Nevertheless, for reasons of social policy no less than those of economic development, it is important that while the national economy develops and offers wider opportunities for employment to agricultural workers and others, some positive relief within the rural economy is given to a section of the population which has long suffered from disabilities and has been denied minimum social and economic opportunity. It is, therefore, recommended that in each State, after the data relating to the census of land holding and cultivation have been studied and the areas likely to become available assessed, detailed schemes for the resettlement on land of agricultural workers should be drawn up. Bhoodan lands to the extent they are made available may also be brought into the scheme for the settlement of surplus lands indicated above.
45. While special personnel for organising the resettlement of landless workers will be required, the resources needed for development should be provided from agricultural, national extension and community development, village.industry and other programmes for which provision has been made in the Plan. The extent to which such resources will be available will, however, have to be further examined. It would be desirable to set up in each State a special board, including non-official members, for advising on resettlement schemes, for landless workers and reviewing progress from time to time. It would also be useful to have a similar board at the national level so that questions of policy and organisation and the progress of land resettlement schemes in the country as a whole can be reviewed.
46. In this connection, reference may be made to the Bhoodan movement. So far over 4 million acres of land have been collected by way of gift for the rehabilitation of landless workers and about 300,000 acres of land have been distributed. State Governments are passing laws to facilitate redistribution of Bhoodan lands.
47. The progress of tenancy reform as well as the imposition of ceilings on agricultural holdings will lead to a substantial increase in the number of small peasant owners. In eliminating rent receiving interests and reducing the burden on the tiller of the soil land reform paves the way for the reconstruction of the agrarian economy. As has been explained earlier, land reform programmes and measures for agrarian reorganisation are parts of the same integrated approach. Land reform cannot succeed without considerable extension of credit facilities and without a programme for eliminating the weaknesses which arise from uneconomic and fragmented holdings and deficiencies in the use and management of land. The problem of agricultural credit in relation to land reform is considered in the next chapter. Here it is proposed to review briefly the four main aspects of. agrarian reorganisation, namely, (1) consolidation of holdings, (2) land management practices, (3) development of co-operative farming, and (4) development of co-operative village management as the objective towards which the village economy is to be reorganised.
Consolidation Of Holdings
48. In the First Five Year Plan it was urged that in all States programmes for consolidation of holdings should be expanded and pursued with vigour. The advantages of consolidation of holdings are well known. Consolidation saves time and labour, facilitates improvement of land through irrigation as well as dry farming practices provides an opportunity for replanning individual holdings and the village abadi and providing roads and other amenities. Appreciable progress has, however, been made only in a few States. By the end of March, 1955, in Punjab over 4 million acres of land had been consolidated, in Madhya Pradesh 2.5 million acres and in Pepsu over a million acres.In Bombay and Delhi 1Q|50 and 210 villages respectively had been consolidated. In Uttar Pradesh consolidation is in progress in 21 districts. Thus, while there is growing interest in almost all States in programmes of consolidation of holdings, much more needs to be done. In national extension and community project areas consolidation of holdings should be undertaken as a task of primary importance in the agricultural programme. Plans of several States for the second five year plan include provisions for consolidation of holdings.
49. Consolidation programmes have been in operation in different parts of the country for more than a generation and there is no real difficulty in adapting the experience of States which have advanced in this field to the conditions of other States. The Planning Commission is engaged in a comparative study of methods and solutions which have been evolved in different parts of the country for various problems connected with consolidation of holdings with a view to making the best existing experience on the subject more generally available.
Land Management Practices
50. In the First Five Year Plan the principle was commended that in the cultivation and management of land, individual owners should conform to standards of efficiency determined by law. In their application, these standards were thought of, in the first instance, in relation to large holdings. In the context of the second five year plan standards of efficiency and management have to be conceived from a more general standpoint. All agricultural holdings, irrespective of size, should be efficiently managed. From this aspect the subject has been studied in some detail by a committee of the Panel on Land Reform. The main recommendations which have emerged from this study, which we commend, are as follows:
(1) All cultivators have an obligation to maintain reasonable standards. of production and to preserve and develop the fertility of the soil. Land management legislation should provide the necessary incentives and sanctions for the performance of this obligation. Such legislation, however, is not to be viewed as a means of coercion in isolation from other factors essential for the maintenance of efficient production. Prescription of standards should be linked with the fulfilment of certain conditions such as security of tenure, consolidation of holdings, progressive development of co-operation and Government assistance in the provision of financial resources, technical guidance and supplies.
(2) Land management legislation should provide for standards of efficient cultivation and management which will permit objective, qualitative judgements. A list of factors to be taken into account in judging the quality of management of a farm or a holding worked out by the Committee is given in Annexure I to this chapter. On the basis of these factors as adapted to local conditions, it should be possible in any village or in any area to classify farms according to the quality of management into suitable grades, for instance, two grades above and two below the average. While farms which fall into the first two categories should be given suitable encouragement and recognition, steps should be taken to ensure that those falling below the average are assisted in improving their standards.
(3) Sanctions should be provided in the legislation for the fulfilment of certain obligations such as (a) for large and medium holdings, the bringing of cultivable waste lands under cultivation within a reasonable period, (b) measures relating to levelling, bunding and fencing, maintenance of irrigation channels, control of insects and diseases and eradication of weeds and terracing of fields, and (c) use of improved seeds, composting of farm refuse etc.
(4) While land management legislation has to apply to all farms, with a view to gaining experience and evolving suitable methods, it may be applied in the first instance in each State to selected national extension and community project areas.
At the village level, the implementation of the legislation should be
undertaken generally through
51. These are broad principles which might guide land management legislation. Details of application have to be carefully worked out by each' State with reference to its conditions and priorities. Effective arrangements for land management will be an important factor in increasing agricultural production and conserving natural resources and in national extension and community project areas special attention should be given to them.
52. There is general agreement that co-operative fanning should be developed as rapidly as possible. The practical achievements in this field are, however, meagre. The main task during the second five year plan is to take such essential steps as will provide sound foundations for the development of cooperative farming, so that over a period of 10 years or so a substantial proportion of agricultural lands are cultivated on co-operative lines. Targets for cooper-live farming to be achieved during the second five year plan are proposed to be determined in the course of the first year of the plan after discussing with individual States and reviewing the developments and experience gained so far. These targets will be related closely to and dovetailed with the targets of agricultural production and the programme of national extension and community project areas.
53. The question is sometimes raised as to what precisely is meant by cooperative farming. Cooperative farming necessarily implies pooling of land and joint management At this stage of development, however, considerable flexibility is needed in the manner in which lands may be pooled and operated in cooperative units. A variety of forms of organisation can be considered and in different situations, different combinations of arrangements are likely to yield the best results. Thus, for the pooling of land any one of the following methods maybe adopted either by itself or in combination with some other form:
Within a cooperative unit different forms of operation can be conceived of. Thus, the farm as a whole may be managed as a single unit for all purposes or for some selected purposes. Groups of families may form sub-units within the cooperative farm. Or, as is likely, in the first stage of cooperative development there may be family holdings supplemented by joint work for specific purposes. Considerable practical experience has to be gained in carrying out cooperatively agricultural and other activities under different conditions and an attitude of experiment should be maintained in all matters of detail. The effort should be to work out the best solutions through systematic study and observation and make them known as widely as possible so that peasants may adapt them readily to their own conditions.
54. In the First Fiye Year Plan a number of suggestions were made for encouraging and assisting small farmers to group themselves voluntarily into cooperative farming societies. Planned experiments were recommended with a view to evolving suitable methods and techniques of cooperative farming under Indian conditions. State Governments were requested later to draw up phased programmes for cooperative farming. On the whole, little action has been taken in these directions. In most States there are groups of individuals who have come together to form cooperative farming societies. A few of these societies have been successful, but many of them have experienced practical difficulties for which they have not always been able to secure the necessary guidance. The result is that after a time efforts which begin with enthusiasm are given up as failures. A close study in the Indian setting, of failures equally with successes, which occur in efforts to develop cooperative farming, is likely to indicate directions in which effective solutions may be found. With this in view the Planning Commission arranged through the Programme Evaluation Organisation for a first hand study of 23 selected cooperative farming societies in 13 different States. These studies have provided valuable information and a special report on the subject will be published in the near future.
55. There are at present about a thousand cooperative farming societies functioning in different'parts of the country. In any programme for cooperative development these societies claim the first attention on the part of the staffs of cooperative and agriculture departments and extension workers. The higher the proportion among these societies which are enabled to succeed, the greater will be the incentive to others to form cooperative farming societies.
56. When operations for the consolidation of holdings take place, an effort should be made to educate the people in.the advantages of cooperative farming so that, to the extent possible, those who wish to join together in cooperative farming societies may have their lands consolidated in one block or in a small number of compact blocks. Cooperative farming societies formed by voluntary groups should receive special assistance from resources made avail-.able under agricultural production and other programmes. In national extension and community project areas, in particular, facilities such as the following can be readily provided:
Care should be taken to ensure that the concessions are extended to genuine societies only and do not lead to the formation of mushroom societies which are wound up after involving State Governments in loss.
57. It would be desirable to select, as experimental or pilot projects, one or two cooperative farms in each district and later in each national extension and community project area. The activities in these projects should be closely observed and recorded and the aim should be through work in these projects to evolve better methods of management and organisation. Later, these farms should become practical training centres for cooperative, agricultural and other extension workers.
58. Opportunities for developing cooperative farming on a large scale will increase when, with the imposition of ceiling on agricultural holdings, some surplus areas become available. As suggested earlier, settlements on these lands should, as a rule, be made on cooperative lines.
59. In tribal areas where communal ownership is still the rule, special steps should be taken to develop agriculture along cooperative lines.
60. Holdings which are below the basic or the floor limit constitute one of the most difficult problems in the re-organisation of agriculture. If these holdings are grouped into larger units of operation through cooperative activity the economies and advantages of large-scale organisation become available, larger financial resources for agricultural development can be provided and the volume of employment can be increased. The general aim should be to bring below basic holdings increasingly into cooperative pools. As a first step, where possible, surplus lands and other lands available in a village may be regrouped into cooperative farming units. Those whose holdings are below the floor limit should be admitted as members if they agree to put their lands into the pool. It is "also desirable that at the time ofconsolidation-ortioldings lands belonging to persons holding very small pieces of land should be located as near as possible to pooled lands so that cultivators who may not join cooperative farms immediately may find it convenient to do so at a later stage. Cooperative activity in one form promo--tes cooperation in other ways as well. It is necessary, therefore, that cooperation in non-farm activities should be promoted as a step preparatory to cooperation in cultivation.
61. In implementing a programme for the development of cooperative farming it is also important to emphasise the need for widespread training. In institutions for cooperative training special courses in cooperative farming, both theoretical and practical should be organised. Extension workers and officials of agriculture departments should also receive short periods of training in cooperatiave farming, including problems of management, organisation and accounts and, above all, they should become fully familiar with the human relationship aspect of cooperative development
Pattern Of Village Development
62. With the growth of cooperative farming societies and the development of cooperation in various non-farm activities, the rural economy should become stronger and there should be a steady increase in production and rural incomes. There are several reasons, why, in Indian conditions, it is desirable that the aim of policy should be in the direction of making the village the primary unit of management in agriculture and in many other economic and social activities which bear closely on the welfare of the rural people.
63. As explained earlier, for cooperative community development, under present conditions, the village is the most convenient'unit Some villages may be too small and some too large, but with the reorganisation of village boundaries which has been recommended'in the Chapter on District Development Administration, a large proportion of villages will provide sizeable units for achieving economies of scale and organisation in agricultural production. Cooperative village management assumes that the ownership of land belongs to peasants. With the progress of land reform the number owners within the village community will increase and disparities in the ownership of land will be reduced. But in each village community, apart from artisans and others engaged in non-agricultural activities, there will be 'a section of the population dependent on agriculture who have practically no share in the ownership of land. Theirs is an important problem to which solution has to be found, specially since, in effect, as full-time workers, they are surplus to the rural economy.
64. To be able to provide a diversity of occupations within and outside agriculture, the village economy itself has to develop new techniques. Rapid technical change, including the utilisation of power and of improved equipment, thus becomes" a basic factor in further progress. So long as the small holding, often uneconomic and fagmented, remains the unit of management in agriculture, the possibilities of expanding the village economy to create adequate diversity and richness in the occupational structure are severely limited. A distinction should be made between the unit of management and the unit of operation. Even when a larger area or the village as a whole is the unit of management, for many years, the common unit of operation will be the peasant holding. If the village is the unit of planning, there could be cooperation in many operations, such as the use of improved seed, common buying and selling, in soil conservation, in the use of water, in the construction Of local works and, increasingly, in the principal farm operations.
65. During the transition to .cooperative village management, lands in the village will be managed in three different ways. Firstly, there will be the individual farmers cultivating their own holdings. Secondly, there will be groups of farmers who pool their lands voluntarily in their own interest into cooperative working units. Thirdly, there will be some land belonging to the village community as a whole. This will include the common lands of the village, the village site, culturable waste lands assigned to the village, lands whose ownership or management is entrusted to the village on the application of the ceiling on agricultural holdings and, lastly, lands available for the settlement of the landless. Thus, one could visualise within the scheme of land management in each village an individual sector, a voluntary cooperative sector and a community sector. The relative proportions between these sectors will be a matter for growth and development as well as positive planning. The aim would be to enlarge the cooperative sector until the management of the entire land in the village becomes the cooperative responsibility of the community. Cooperation in credit, marketing and processing will also further cooperation in production. These acitivities are inter-related. Those which are simpler to organise will naturally be taken up first Cooperation in all forms and in all activities is to be welcomed because the habit and outlook of cooperation is as important as the forms through which it is expressed.
66. The main instruments for achieving cooperative village management are:
The work of different agencies and the progress of the measures listed above are necessarily interconnected and the development of cooperative village management is likely to be a gradual process. Many practical problems will have to be resolved, efficient organisations built up, extension workers fully oriented to the tasks of cooperative development and a movement with purposeful leadership developed at the village level.
The forms which cooperative village management may assume and the stages in which it is approached will depend on the experience and initiative of the people in each area and the success which is achieved in implementing each of the individual programmes for rural community development.
67. Once the stage of cooperative village management is reached and work opportunities developed in adequate measure within the rural economy, the distinction between those who have land and those who are landless will lose much of its significance. The true distinction then is between workers with varying skills who are engaged in different occupations, both agricultural and non-agricultural. The resources of the village community derived from agriculture, trade and village industry will be employed in securing the maximum increase in production and employment through action within the village as well as through cooperation in activities extending beyond the village. Such a village community will have an integrated social and economic structure and will be linked organically as a production and business unit with the economic, life of the tehsil and the district. Thus, a rural economic structure is visualised in which agricultural production, village industries, processing industries, marketing and rural trade are all organised as cooperative activities.
68. An important step in the direction of cooperative development of the village economy, which has grown out of the Bhoodan movement, is the gifting by their owners of about 800 whole villages in Orissa and in a few other States. These are commonly described as Gramdan villages. The practical success which is achieved in the development ofGramdan villages will have great significance for cooperative village development elsewhere in the country. Cooperative villages should receive in special measure the various forms of assistance specified earlier for cooperative farming societies. Two other aspects need to be emphasised. In these villages land revenue should be collected through the village panchayat Secondly, depending on the form in which individual rights are held under the village community, credit and other assistance should be made available either to individuals on the strength of security which the community can furnish or on the basis of shares which individuals hold in the village lands. Such adaptations in existing revenue and cooperative legislation as are required by the transformation from individual to cooperative or community holding of land should be carried out.
Administration Of Land Reform Programmes
69. Land reform programmes are an integral part of national planning and in several fields progress depends on their speedy and efficient execution. At the same time, they throw a heavy burden on the administration which has, therefore, to be strengthened and equipped adequately to carry out these programmes. Broadly, administrative tasks to be undertaken fall into two groups, namely, (a) those which are rquired for ensuring efficient revenue administration, and (b) tasks related to special programmes such as consolidation of holdings, land management, imposition of ceilings on agricultural holdings, redistribution of land and development of cooperative farming. It is necessary to take a comprehensive view of both sets of tasks as they are essentially inter-dependent in character and form part of an integrated scheme.
70. The first group of administrative tasks includes the following:
(1) The maintenance of correct and uptodate land records is a pre-requisite for the implementation of land reform. In several States, following the abolition of intermediaries, revenue records have been or are in the process of being prepared. Frequently, revenue records are defective in as much as they do not provide information in respect of the holdings of tenants and crop-sharers;
(2) Over large areas cadastral surveys are not uptodate. As a rule, they form part of settlement operations but these are in arrears in many States. Revision and preparation of village records has to be taken up urgently and cannot wait until cadastral surveys are completed. It would, therefore, appear necessary, as an immediate measure, to prepare uptodate revenue records on the basis of what may doubtless be rough maps;
(3) With the larger load of work which revenue staffs have carried in recent years, annual records are not always maintained correctly or uptodate and the elaborate instructions for supervision and correction of records which exist in most States are difficult to implement for want of adequate supervisory staff. In particular, entries relating to cultivating possession of tenants, and crop-sharers may frequently be inaccurate. It is, therefore, desirable that at the time of field inspections by the revenue officials some members of the village panchayat should be associated. Copies of the recrods which are prepared should be made available for inspection in the panchayat office and copies of changes which are proposed should be supplied to the parties concerned;
(4) Incertain areas, especially those which were formerly under permanent settlement, recent and fairly reliable revenue or rent rates are not available. The process of determining these rates normally takes a long period. It w6uld be desirable to adopt, wherever possible, some simple course, such as fixation of rent as a multiple of land revenue. This is a necessary measure if reduction in rent and commutation of produce rents into cash are to take place.
71. Among the second group of administrative tasks which arise from the special land reform programmes to be implemented during the second five year plan, the following may be mentioned
72. The administrative tasks taken together constitute a heavy burden on the revenue staff. It is obvious that considerable strengthening of both supervisory and field personnel should be planned for from the earlier stages. Much new legislation is complex in character and it is necessary that the revenue staff itself should understand thorougly its objectives and the means through which they are to be attained. Short period training courses will, therefore, be useful. While some of these tasks have to be carried out over the entire area of a State simultaneously, such as reduction in rents, or demarcation of non-resumable and resumable areas, there are other programmes which can be undertaken with greater speed if they are first carried out in selected areas, where experience is gained and personnel trained before other areas are taken up. An active and informed public opinion can be of great assistance in implementing land reform programmes. Steps should, therefore, be taken to make widely known the rights and obligations of different sections of the rural community in terms of the land reform legislation. In carrying out the various tasks the official machinery can and should derive a great deal of assistance from the agencies of district development administration which are described in Chapter VII, namely, village panchayats, development committees in talukas and development blocks and district development councils. In particular, village panchayats have a large role in the achievement of high standards of management and efficiency and in assisting the progress of consolidation of holdings. Through their association land revenue records can be maintained more accurately and injustices avoided. Also, they can assist materially in the settlement of disputes relating to ejectment of tenants, arrears of rent, possession of land, restoration of tenancies and ejectment of trespassers. Land reform measures are an important part of district and village development programmes and no small part of the response of the people to these programmes will derive from the success of land reform.
The following list of factors which should be taken into account in judging-the quality of the management of a farm or a holding has been worked out by a committee of the Panel on Land Reform. These factors have to be adapted to local conditions and those of them which are of special importance in an area singled out as the principal criteria of efficiency of management:
(ii) Use of pure seeds of approved variety.
(iii) Manures and fertilizers:
(v) Agricultural implements:
Use of agricultural implements of improved variety as recommended by the Agriculture Department for particular tracts.
Control of insect pests and diseases and eradication of pernicious weeds,
independently as well as in
(vii) Improved agricultural practices in respect of:
(viii) Suitable rotation of crops.
(ix) Planting and care of trees (especially along water courses, near wells and on uncultivated lands).
(x) In case of 'dry farming', adoption of improved dry farming practices as recommended by the Agriculture Department such as:
(xi) Adoption of'mixed farming' i.e., industries allied to agriculture like fruit and vegetables gardening, dairy farming, poultry or bee-keeping, to the extent to which the recommendations of the Agriculture Department on the subject are followed.
(xii) Animal Husbandry:
(xiii) Farming equipment and investment in permanent improvements.
(xiv) Adequate arrangements for storage of produce.
(xv) Housing conditions of agricultural workers on the farm.
(xvi) In the case of large and medium sized farms, maintenance of simple farm accounts as may be prescribed.
in co-operative associations.
In paragraphs 30 to 34 a brief account has been given of the procellure and concepts adopted for carrying out the census of land holdings and cultivation. In this Annexure data pertaining to 19 States are given in summary form with reference to (a) holdings classified according to area owned and (b) holdings classified according to area under personal cultivation. Data relating to Bihar are under examination. Data relating to Uttar Pradesh and Orissa are not yet available. The progress of work relating to the census of land holdings and cultivation in other States has been reviewed in the chapter.
States where complete enumeration of holdings of all size groups was conducted
*Area under personal cultivation does not generally include cultivable land lying fall,o\i' for more lhan one year.tin Madras and Hyderabad, area is expressed in terms of dry acres. Wet lands have been converted into dry acres according to specified formulae.
REFORM AND AGRARIAN REORGANISATION
Madras, lands left waste due to the negligence of the owner and 'mamool'
waste have been included in the area owned, but not in the area under
(..) Negligible. *Thin cultivable waste lands held by owners have been included in the area owned but not in the area under personal cultivation.
States where the census was confined to 10 acres and above
where enumeration of holdings was on sample basis
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