Land Reforms in India
Land reforms legislation has been passed by the state governments, which aim at improving the economic conditions of agricultural landless labourers. For instance, with the abolition of the Zamindari system, the exploitation associated with the system has been removed. Tenancy Laws have been passed in most of the states for protecting the interests of the tenants and helping them to acquire possession over the lands they cultivate. Every state has passed the necessary legislation fixing ceiling on agricultural holdings by which the maximum amount of land which a person can hold has been fixed by law. The surplus lands thus acquired were to be distributed to the landless labourers and small peasants.
It was introduced in April 1999 as a successor to Jawahar Rozgar Yojana on a cost sharing basis of 75 : 25 between the Union and States.
It was launched on August 15, 1995 to provide social assistance benefits to poor households affected by old age, death of primary bread winner or need for maternity care.
It was started on October 2, 1993 in 1778 backward blocks in drought prone, desert, tribal and hill areas. It was expanded to cover all the 5,488 rural blocks of the country. It gave wage employment to the rural poor. In September 2001, it was merged into new Sampoorna Gramin Rozgar Yojana along with Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana.
It was introduced in the Budget for 2000-2001 with an allocation of Rs. 5,000 crore. Its focus is on health, primary education, drinking water, housing and rural roads.
Common Property Rights in grazing lands, wastelands, forests and water resources were made available to the rural people in the past. They have been cancelled in the recent past due to commercialisation and privatisation of these rural community resources in the country.
Urban self-employment and urban wage-employment are the two special schemes under it. It substituted in December 1997 various programmes operated earlier for urban poverty alleviation. It is funded on 75: 25 basis between the Union and the States. The expenditure under this scheme was only Rs. 45.5 crore at the revised stage. It was Rs. 39.21 crore in 2001-02 and an allocation of Rs. 105 crore was provided for 2002-03 (Economic Survey, 2002-03, p.217).
The concept of an Integrated Rural Development Programme was first proposed in the central budget for 1976-77, and a beginning was made in this regard. This programme was intended to assist rural population to derive economic benefits from the development of assets of each area.
The programme with some modifications was introduced on an expanded scale in 1978-79, beginning with 2,300 blocks, of which 2000 were under common coverage with SFDA, DPAP and CADP, with another 300 blocks added up during 1979-80. Its coverage was extended to all the blocks of the country since October 2, 1980.
Besides the smaller and marginal farmers, this programme was more specific in regard to agricultural workers and landless labourers, and additionally brought within its purview rural artisans also. The programme emphasised the family rather than the individual approach in the identification of the beneficiaries.
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