The Himachal Pradesh state secretariat of the Communist party of India (Marxist) has strongly objected to the efforts of the state government in diluting the Land Reforms and tenancy Act especially section 118. The Party State Secretariat in a statement has noted that since the last few days there have been pronouncements by the ministers including the chief minister that a green field will be ensured for the industrial houses and the Land Reforms Act would be amended. The Party has said that it has no objection to the laying of green field path for the industries to come in the state but the dilution of the Act will not be tolerated. The party has asked the government and the Congress party to learn from its debacle and restrict this rightward shift in its policies as was happening during the tenure of the erstwhile UPA regime. The rightward shift in policies will only benefit the BJP and not the Congress as the latter happens to be more adapted to implement these policies. The Land Reforms and Tenancy Act was effectively implemented in the state to ensure that the agricultural land is protected from the sell out to capital and its investors. The statement pointed out that states like Uttrakhand and other hilly areas are now realising the importance of such a provision that benefited the state of Himachal Pradesh. In these states land in the prime areas or commercially viable zones have all been captured by big entrepreneurs.
The party has stated, whereas industrialisation is of utmost importance for the state but this whole issue needs to be revisited as a majority of the industries have come in the periphery where they enjoyed tax holidays and cater more to the needs of the neighbouring states. The policy of prioritisation of industries also needs to be done as the state has a fragile ecology and recently a study has been done in Baddi , Barotiwala and Nalagarh (BBN) area where the ground water has found to be contaminated with large quantities of metal. A case study of over 200 people has proven this fact. The industries that require to be attracted are food processing and in the sector of IT for which the government has to step in and create infrastructure. The Party said that just by relaxing the provisions of section 118 of the tenancy act will only bring land sharks in the guise of industrial houses who then tend to operate as real estate agents.
The party has cautioned the government to desist from this move and in case there are genuine industrial houses who want to enter the state, the government like in the past should provide them permission on priority basis.