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Day 32 – Q 3. What role do progressive land laws play in the ease of doing business? Explain. What recent measures have been taken by the government in the area of land reforms. Examine. 

  • IASbaba
  • July 16, 2020
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GS 3, Infrastructure, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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3. What role do progressive land laws play in the ease of doing business? Explain. What recent measures have been taken by the government in the area of land reforms. Examine. 

व्यवसाय करने में आसानी के लिए प्रगतिशील भूमि कानून क्या भूमिका निभाते हैं? समझाएं। भूमि सुधार के क्षेत्र में सरकार द्वारा हाल ही में क्या उपाय किए गए हैं। जांच करें।

Demand of the question:

It expects students to clarify with relevant facts and implications role played by progressive land laws in the ease of doing business. It also expects student to investigate and establish the key facts and issues related to the recent measures taken by the government in the area of land reforms.

Introduction:

At the time of independence ownership of land was concentrated in the hands of a few. This led to the exploitation of the farmers and was a major hindrance towards the socio-economic development of the rural population. Equal distribution of land was therefore an area of focus of Independent India’s government, and land reforms were seen as an important pillar of a strong and prosperous country.

Body: 

‘Ease of doing business’ refers to the regulatory environment in a country to set up and operate a business. India jumped to 63rd position in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2021 report  from previous position of 100. In the same  report, the World Bank placed India at 163 and 154 positions, respectively, on enforcing contracts and registering property.

Progressive land laws role  in ease of doing business:

  • Property registration and Land acquisition, is a cumbersome and costly process. Simplifying property registration and acquisition of land by introducing reforms can help companies set up or expand in India faster.
  • This can be achieved by introducing reforms such as allowing industries to buy land directly from farmers; rationalising stamp duty across states; digitising and integrating land records at various levels; and setting up a single window in each state for all land-related information, transactions, digitised records and land titles.
  • Land ceiling: With a cap on the size of land holding an individual/family could hold equitable distribution of land was possible to an extent. Land ceiling ensured that the poor destitute farmer can cultivate the land and get benefits from it. 
  • Land possession: Land is a source of economic income. So, when a marginal farmer once got the possession of the land comes in capacity to utilize the land as per her/his choice. e.g. Growth of MSME’s through PM-MUDRA yojna.
  • Increased productivity: More land came under cultivation and since tillers themselves became the landowners, productivity increased. It also ensured that a tiller can be business oriented farmer or business person, by utilizing his non-agricultural land for the other entrepreneurial use.
  • Developing cooperative farming-businesses: As land comes under cooperatives, farmers economic growth is ensured with the parallel growth of cooperatives.
  • Land reforms were also for non-agricultural purposes like development and manufacturing. It helped to set up Industrial development cluster adjacent to cities. Culminating in to more employment generation, and regional economic development.
  • Reforms in land management and enforcing contracts helps to expedite the process of land management  and setting up businesses.
  • With regard to land management reforms, digitisation of the land data and making the data readily available throughout India facilitates the buying and selling of land.

For a self-reliant, globally competitive India, the facilitative reforms for ease of doing business are the need of the hour. Hence, Under the Atmanirbhar Bharat package, Government of India has introduced some reforms for ease of doing business in India. 

  • At the state level Karnataka government introduced that Industries will get 3-yr window for approvals in Karnataka.
  • Karnataka government also proposed to amend the Industrial Facilitation Act, as per the proposed amendment once an investor gets the acknowledgement of approval from any of these committees, he/she can start the operations without waiting for clearance from other departments.
  • Also,  Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) identified enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency, starting a business, registering property, paying taxes and trading across borders as six areas that need improvement.
  • The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade is also following reform activities related to registering property and starting a business in Kolkata and Bengaluru as these two cities are included by the World Bank this year besides Delhi and Mumbai for preparing the ease of doing business report, with a view to provide a holistic picture of business environment in India.
  • Rs 10,000 crore scheme for formalization of Micro Food Enterprises. This scheme promotes ‘Vocal for Local with Global Outreach’ vision. The scheme, government said, will help 2 lakh MFEs, farmer producer organization, self help groups and cooperatives in technical up gradation, improved incomes, better health and safety standards and integration with retail markets.
  • Similarly under the ‘registering property’ criterion, the focus would be on land titling legislation by all the four cities, land records to reflect actual ownership, and timely disposal of property disputes.
  • The interventions listed for ‘starting a business’ include integrated registration for ESIC, EPFO, GST, profession tax with company registration.

The recent reforms exercise assumes significance as the government is targeting to take India among top 50 in the ease of doing business ranking.

Conclusion:

Hence, with respect to India land reforms played a crucial role in changing the economic & social structure of India and promoted ease of doing business. Proposed land reforms are the crucial steps in the right direction to give shape to the dream of  ‘Vocal for Local with Global Outreach’ vision.

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