The State Tribes Advisory Council on Friday relaxed norms on the sale and purchase of tribal lands in the State. A decision to this effect was taken at the Council meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. As per the new guidelines, a tribal can mortgage his land to get necessary funding to start business.
As per the decision, a tribal can mortgage the land with a Public Sector Bank and take the loan. If he fails to repay the loan, the bank can take steps to auction the land. Earlier, the State Government banned any form sale and purchase of lands. Later, it had created a huge problem. Even though a tribal had enough land, he was not allowed to mortgage his land. It led to socio-economic problem.
The Bank would have to take the approval of either the Gram Sabha or the Panchayat if it wants to auction the land of a tribal. Talking to reporters, Revenue Secretary GVV Sharma said at the time of selling of land, priorities would be given to sell lands to the local tribals. "If no local tribal comes up to purchase the land, the general category people can purchase lands," he said.
In yet another far-reaching decision, the Council also decided not to delete the Kui words from the list of castes. Though Kui is a language, ethnologically, Kui is synonym of genuine tribe to whom others call Kond, Khond, Kondh, Kondo, Khondo, Kondho, Kondho Lok, Kandh and Kandha. The non-tribals speaking Kui also identify themselves as tribal and take the benefit of the reservations benefits. Agitations cropped up started demanding taking away the reservation status from the non-tribals.
Keeping the demand in mind, the Council decided to keep the words intact. "Instead of deleting the words, we have decided to attach the 'Kui' word before Kandha. Hence any one can also be known as Kui- Kandha," said Sharma, adding that the Kui words itself would be able to protect the identity of the adivasi living in Kandhamal, particularly in the Baliguda area. No general caste people would, hence, be able to take the benefit of tribals.
'Kandha' is the largest and territorially widespread tribe in State. Though their population is uneavenly spread throughout the State, their main concentration is in southern parts of the State. Kandhas are at various stages of development. The 'Kutia Kandha' of Belghar area and the 'Dongoria Kandha' of Bissamcuttack area represent the primitive sections and the 'Desia Kandha' living in the plains of Phulbani district, and other districts represent the Hindu section of the tribe. In between these two polarities, these are various sections of the Kandha who are at different stages of socio-economic development. The Kandha of Baliguda sub-division speaks the Kui-language. The Council also approved the administrative report of the 2006-07. It would be sent to the Governor's assent.
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