Shillong, April 12 (IANS) Chief Minister Mukul Sangma Friday said the Meghalaya Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy 2012 has taken necessary precautions to protect the alienation of tribal land by not allowing outright transfer by way of sale to non-tribal entities.
“The state government is strictly monitoring the transfer/lease of land on need-based and actual requirement to avoid land alienation of tribal land,” Sangma said, while replying to a call attention notice tabled by opposition United Democratic Party legislator Paul Lyngdoh in the assembly.
With Meghalaya having a unique land tenure system, where the land belongs to the people, Sangma said the government proposes to acquire land and thereafter lease out such land to industrialists on actual requirement basis.
“Through experience, the government has learned that in the earlier Industrial Policy 1997, where land was allowed to be transferred by outright sale to the industrialist, more than the required land was allowed to be transferred,” Sangma said.
The chief minister, who also holds the industries portfolio, said that the new industrial and investment policy has done away with the outright sale to non-tribal entities as was available under the 1997 policy.
“The new policy seeks to transfer land to non-tribal owned units including limited companies, partnership firms, and non-tribal proprietary firms by way of lease only,” he added.
Such land, if not available within the industrial areas/parks, will be provided on 30 years lease basis on payment of appropriate premium, he said.
Emphasizing that “prospective and good investors” are not driven away from investing in the state, Sangma promised that his government will take extra caution to preserve land and to ensure 60 per cent of jobs in all industries would be filled up by local tribesmen of the state.
The chief minister added that the new industrial policy gives more importance to micro and small scale enterprises industries, which would be promoted and managed by women entrepreneurs and the physically challenged.
He added: “Such enterprises will get an additional 10 percent on the state capital investment subject to a ceiling of Rs.5.lakh, while physically challenged persons will pay only 50 percent of the applicable lease rent.”