The Odisha Cabinet on Tuesday decided to amend a law allowing the scheduled tribe people (ST) to transfer their land to non-tribals in scheduled areas with a written permission from the sub-collector.
The Odisha Scheduled Areas Transfer of Immovable Property (by STs) Regulation, 1956 got a cabinet nod for this purpose.
“Now, an ST person can gift, exchange for public purposes or obtain a loan by mortgaging a plot of land in a public financial institution for agriculture, construction of residential house, higher studies of children, self-employment, business or establishment of small-scale industries or transfer it in favour of a person not belonging to ST community for these purposes,” said chief secretary PK Jena after the cabinet meet.
The last amendment to this act was made in 2002 after which a person belonging to the ST category can transfer his immovable property only to the person belonging to the ST community while he/she was allowed to mortgage his land to any public financial institution for agricultural purpose only.
“Due to such provisions, the educated youth belonging to ST communities were facing many difficulties. Realising this problem and based on the recommendations of the Scheduled Tribes Advisory Council, the amendments were made,” said an official note.
“A member of the ST community, however, will not be permitted to sell off all properties under his or her possession, as the person cannot become landless. The collectors and sub-collectors will make sure this,” said the chief secretary.
If the sub-collector does not grant permission for transfer, sell or mortgage of such land, then the person can appeal to the respective district collector within six months, whose decision will be final in this regard.