In a bid to confer proprietary rights upon certain categories of persons in occupation of agrarian land in the state, the Punjab Cabinet led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday approved ‘The Punjab Bhondedar, Butemar, Dohlidar, Insar Miadi, Mukarraridar, Mundhimar, Panahi Qadeem, Saunjidar, or Taraddadkar (Vesting of Proprietary Rights) Bill, 2020’.
Some 11231 persons in these categories, currently occupying private land spread across 4000 acres, will get the proprietary rights after payment of due compensation as per grades to be notified by the government shortly.
Giving details, an official spokesperson said the Cabinet has accepted the proposal of the Revenue Department to recognize 'Specified Categories' as persons recorded in revenue record as Bhondedar, Butemar, Dohlidar, Insar Miadi, Mukarraridar, Mundhimar, Panahi Qadeem, Saunjidar, or Taraddadkar for a period of at least 20 years on the appointed day, that is 1st of January 2020, and includes their predecessors and the successors-in-interest, before the coming into force of this Act.
These categories were left out at the time of vesting of proprietary rights to occupancy tenants under the Punjab Occupancy Tenants (Vesting of Proprietary Rights) Act, 1952 (Act 8 of 1953) and PEPSU Occupancy Tenants (Vesting of Proprietary Rights) Act, 1954 (Act 18 of 1954).
The measure is part of agrarian reforms to empower tillers of such land, who belong mostly to the economically and socially weaker sections of the society. These tenants have been in occupation of small parcels of land for several years and inherit their rights by succession from generation to generation. However, since they were not recorded as owners, they could neither access financial institutions for crop loans nor get calamity relief.
Pertinently, the Punjab Government has established the Revenue Commission to make existing laws, rules and procedures relating to land administration, transparent, simpler and people-friendly, in accordance with modern agriculture and non-agricultural practices.