Assam: Changes in MSME ordinance to protect land rights of indigenous

Indigenous people of Assam are worried that the MSME ordinance will let others set up industries and destroy protected land
Indigenous people of Assam

On Thursday, the government of Assam announced changes in ordinance on setting up an MSME to protect the land rights of indigenous Assamese.

On June 29, the Assam government held a meeting. By the end of it, they passed changes in the ordinance to set MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) industries. Now, to set up an MSME, one needs to submit only self-declaration without permission for three years. Following this, the land will be ‘deemed coverted’.

In order to discuss provisions of the land-related draft ordinance, the CM held a meeting last week. Industry minister, Chandra Mohan Patowary reported so during a press conference. Moreover, he said that the decision was unanimous as they wished to protect the indigenous people’s rights.

Earlier, if anyone want to convert agricultural land into industrial, they needed an acknowledgement certificate. However, the state will no longer follow that provision.

Instead, according to Patowary, business enterprises need permission, clearance and approval related to the land prior to starting an industry.

Furthermore, to set up any enterprise, people need to follow all provisions of the Assam Agricultural Land Act 2015 and other laws will. The ministry will not give any exemption under the Act or any other land-related Act for any business initiative or enterprise.

Concern of the people over MSME ordinance

However, people feel extremely worried about the changes to the MSME ordinance and understandably so. Esentially, this may make it easier for ‘outsiders’ to buy the lands. After that, industries will use it for industrial purposes. Without a check on it, which never really happens, the land will turn into ruin.

Despite their serious concern, the government assured them that it’s the right of the indigenous people on their land. Furthermore, the government is going to make strict arrangements to erase any possible way of overlooking their rights.