Date: 19/07/2015

Dear All:

The following is kind perusal and approval.

Thank you.



From: Sent: Sunday, July 19, 2015 9:20 PM
To: 'MODI JI'; 'Narendra Modi'
Subject: RE: Modi set to go slow on land acquisition bill; Panagariya urges states to give farm land for industries; Rural India not shining; CMs skip NITI Aayog meeting; Deccan Herald, July 16, 13, 12, 2015

Dear Sri Narendra Modi Ji, The Rt. Hon. PM of India:

I humbly request you to please, read the news items given below and some Readers’ comments. Thank you for your time.

I wish to make some observations about the BJP’s Land Bill / Ordinance and the neglect of Rural India. You are aware that I did write to you about the unfortunate Land grabbing Bill/ Ordinance passed by the BJP Sarkar, earlier. You know that BJP is stuck with this bad policy for a long time and that BJP is becoming un-popular, because of autocratic and un-democratic nature of the BJP Govt.

Many who voted for BJP are in dismay. BJP was elected by 31 % of total votes. Surely, in next elections, if there is a swing of 5 or 6 % in favour of opposition, BJP will fail, not because the opposition is a good choice, but voters want to teach a lesson to BJP for disappointing them.

Sir, the rural folk including farmers are no less patriotic compared to Elected fellows who come and go. Only the difference is that these elected persons will have rich bank balances and life time hefty pensions and contacts to manipulate the system if required for their further benefits, but the farmers are ruined without their land and have to become cheap labour for the rich. They will be cursing Modi Ji all along for the rest of their lives.

1. The architect of the LAND BILL appears to be Shri Arvind Panagariya, the Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog. He is more like a “Paper Tiger “, lacking real knowledge on the ground. Indian way of life, particularly in Rural India is different from that of South Korea, Taiwan, China. In India, farmers are attached to their inherited land for generations. They have worked at it, despite the returns being meager.

These ANNA DATAS know only farming skills, the values of which are no less than those of factory workers or IT guys. Panagariya Ji did not consider the price controls levied on farming products to control inflation, by the various Govts., nor did he consider the lack of institutional organizations needed to estimate and demand realistic prices for these products based on the hours/days/months spent by the farmers to produce these food products.

If only, farm incomes had been raised in proportion to the salary rise for all other sectors, the GDP would have a value far higher than 13.5 %, that Panagariya Ji is attributing to. Farmers’ contribution is no less than other sectors of Industry. In a sense, Panagariya Ji has mislead the Govt. This is not good for the Country. His advice to BJP Govt. and the State Govts. shall be ignored.

2. Sri Modi Ji should advise Hon. Chandrababu Naidu Ji to stop bulldozing flower gardens, multi-crop fertile farm lands in “ Amaravathi “ area close to Guntur-AP for building the capital of AP. It is unwise to grab 39000 acres of mostly agricultural land on the banks of Krishna River. No state needs to spend 6500 crore rupees to build a capital city. There is 5000 to 6000 acres of non-agricultural land around Vijayawada. This area should be more than sufficient to accommodate the buildings needed to govern a state.

3. Federal Govt. and State Govts. should publish data of the land already acquired under various schemes including SEZ schemes but lying vacant and explain why one needs more land. What does the Govts. plan to do with the already acquired land that is kept not used for years. In particular, farmers have co-operated in the past and will co-operate in the future to fore go their not-cultivable land to build schools or roads ++. Engineers are trained to work with locals to convince them as & when the need arises, but not the big economists like Panagariya Ji, who want to grab the land without consent and not willing to address the social impact on the farmer families and the local labour associated with the farming.

4. Modi Sarkar should address the need for rural industries and make villages self sufficient, with schools, health care ++ and to make sure that villagers not migrate to cities already over-crowded and end up in slums. This requires Planning Commission staffed with experts in different professional fields who are trained to solve complex issues on the go.

5. NITI Aayog Governing Council meeting on Land Bill : The recent meeting was not attended by the 9 Chief Ministers of Congress – ruled states, and five more Chief Ministers from UP, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Odisha and AP totaling 14. That means, almost half the number of States were not represented at this meeting. Consensus was not arrived at, from these 14 Chief Ministers. Some local State parties like YSR Congress is opposing the Land Bill in its present format and will vote against it. This clearly demonstrates that the Land Bill / Ordinance in its present form is not acceptable to the majority in the Country. The BJP, therefore must relent and include the Consent clause and the Social Impact clauses to get the opposition support.

6. The ir- relevance of NITI Aayog Governing Council : This council is a duplication of “ Chief Ministers Conference “ except that Arvind Panagariya and Bibek Debroy also attended. Since, Panagariya Ji and Bibek Debroy has already been given the status of cabinet Minister & MOS, respectively, they could be permanent attendees to the Chief Ministers Conference. Thus, NITI Aayog Governing Council becomes redundant and should be abolished.

Therefore, The Planning Commission with Sub-Committees shall be formed with membership of Eminent professional Engineers, Medical professionals, Environmental experts, Defence infrastructure experts and top Educationists to propose/estimate/supervise various projects needed by the country for it to stand out among the developed Nations.

Dear Sri Modi Ji, please do not be stubborn and stone hearted. You say that you want to help farmers but act exactly against their interests. The BJP & TDP Govts. grabbing peasants’ property without consent is treacherous and not in-conformity with the Fundamental Human Rights. Let BJP not trespass in to farmers’ properties. Do not change law to make it okay to trespass. You & BJP must walk the talk, sir.

Thank you.

With Respectful Regards,


Panagariya urges states to give farm land for industries

NEW DELHI, jULY 13, 2015, DHNS:

Arvind Panagariya, PTI FILE PHOTO

A week ahead of the Monsoon session when the Centre plans to take up the Land Acquisition Bill in the Rajya Sabha, Niti Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya has written about the benefits states can reap if they allow use of agricultural land for industrial purposes.

In a blog posted on the Niti Aayog’s website, Panagariya has also offered Aayog’ s assistance to states who are ready to throw away their agricultural land to industries.

“States wishing to facilitate industrialisation can further benefit from liberal land leasing if they simultaneously liberalise the use of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes.

Currently, conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural use requires permission from the appropriate authority, which can take a long time,” Panagariya wrote on Monday and suggested that the states may amend the time taking process.

He said the state governments must seriously consider revisiting their leasing and land use laws to determine if they could bring about these simple but powerful changes to enhance productivity and welfare all around.

The bill that has already been passed in the Lok Sabha talks of making available a bulk of land to industries in India. “Long-term land leases allow the owner to retain the ownership, while earning rent on her land.

In addition, she will have the right to renegotiate the terms of the lease once the existing one expires..,” he said.


Readers Comments:


A smart PM never foresaw the unwillingness of public!!. Instead of saying 'giving-up' now using diplomatic word 'Going-slow' If he goes slow does he think those opposing forget!!! The same fate will come to his plans of imposing Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states. Better he and his team realise that they were elected because of some bad policies of other parties and should not think they got a blank signed cheque from people to implement crazy ideas: BTW: Happy to know that PM is visiting India during his busy foreign travels!!!!

sa • 2 days ago

Going "soft" and "slow" is the new fad of BJP. We have seen umpteen bullying by BJP to go 'soft' on important cases. But this "soft" here is different.

Your awareness seems limited .Reality is...... Farmers are ready to part willingly their arid lands at a reasonable rates set up by the govt. But the government through their agents and other goons want the most fertile and irrigated lands from the farmers. Moreover, the skill-set of farmers are different. The need of the hour is to support them in their expertise of farming. The govt/ private partners should set up cold storage, buy their outputs at cost plus 50% basis so that both the farmers and consumers will be happy. If you throw some money at them, snatch their fertile land against their wishes, and let them go they will end up either rolling around like animals in the gutter drunk, and/or end up as unskilled laborers in temporary jobs in the so called industry as per the whims and fancies of the owners.

Why are they hell bent on their' fertile" irrigated lands. Read my lips, Farmers cultivating the fertile and irrigated lands are very well off. They are pretty self sufficient. When they are not ready to give, why do you want to forcefully snatch it? Will you give away your hard earned /emotionally attached priceless possession to someone against your wishes? The reality is these fertile lands will end up under the control of unscrupulous goons who have top political links and the farmers will be made their slaves.

Of course accountability and transparency is a must. Most importantly the "consent" (read it again) of the farmers /land owners is a MUST. You can't take it against their wishes. Unlike city dwellers, farmers are way smarter than you think. You may be highly qualified, but they can outsmart you any day. All the census map etc are known to them like the back of their hand. They will clearly and exactly map out where arid lands exists and where there is fertile land. If a so called smart middleman/ babu /goon comes over to fool them under the pretext of gobbling up the land trying to say a big road etc will come bang in the middle of their irrigated land, they will be quick enough to realize the ulterior motives. FYI, BengaLuru was way better is horrible now.

No consensus and agreement with the farmers,.... they have no right to grab the land. I don't care whether it congress, BJP or xyz.


Modi set to go slow on land acquisition bill

Annapurna Singh, NEW DELHI, July 16, 2015, DHNS:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje ahead of the second meeting of Governing Council of NITI Aayog in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI

Keeping in view the crucial Bihar Assembly elections, the Centre is likely to go slow in pushing the amended land acquisition bill after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s latest attempt to reach a consensus failed on Wednesday.

Nine chief ministers from Congress-ruled states skipped a meeting on land bill held under the aegis of NITI Aayog. Five others stayed away due to various reasons while two non-BJP chief ministers — Nitish Kumar (Bihar) and Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi) – opposed the amendments.

Modi said his government would take into account suggestions, including that of Nitish Kumar who said time was not opportune to amend the 2013 law.

The prime minister, however, stressed that the deadlock over the bill was seriously affecting rural development and hoped to hammer out a consensus. “Political deadlock over land acquisition is seriously impacting rural development, including the creation of schools, hospitals, roads and irrigation projects,” he told the chief ministers.

Wednesday’s meeting was significant as it came a week ahead of the Monsoon session in which the Opposition parties are set to block the reform bills in the Rajya Sabha where the government lacks majority.

The amendments to land bill-2013 have been passed by the Lok Sabha and are currently being vetted by a Joint Committee of Parliament that is expected to give its report later this month.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said though the Centre wanted a consensus on the bill, an overwhelming section of states said they “cannot indefinitely wait for consensus”. Jaitley said majority of chief ministers, even from the Congress-ruled states, were initially in favour of changes in the land law and it was because of that the government made amendments but some chief ministers changed their position later.

The 2013 law requires the consent of 80 per cent of landowners for acquisition for private projects. It requires the consent of 70 per cent of landowners in case of PPP projects. The amended bill, passed by the Lok Sabha, exempts five categories — defence, rural infrastructure, affordable housing, industrial corridors and infrastructure projects including PPP — from the provision of the law. It also does away with the social impact assessment of affected families.

Rural India not shining

Devinder Sharma, July 13, 2015, DHNS

What is required is to provide more income to the farmers as well more public investm-ent in the rural areas.

A few days before the shocking findings of the Socio-Economic and Caste Census 2011 were released, I was reading the book Rural Credit and Financial Penetration in Punjab by Satish Verma, an RBI Professor at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development, Chandigarh.

The book detailed how, over the years, rural debt had been multiplying. Let’s take a look. In Punjab, the food bowl, the average cash loan per cultivator household has risen by a whopping 22 times in a decade. In just 10 years, the average debt per farmer has risen from Rs 0.25 lakh to Rs 5.6 lakh. And don’t forget, these 10 years were the years of economic reforms.

Incidentally, Punjab, ranks third in the country as far as farm debt is concerned. Chhattisgarh tops the chart with Rs 7.54 lakh, followed by Kerala at Rs 6.48 lakh.

Another study by the same author had shown that 98 per cent of the rural households in the frontline agricultural state of Punjab are carrying a debt. Each household on an average had a debt of Rs 4.79 lakh or 96.73 per cent of its annual income. Now this was something unbelievable. If Rs 4.79 lakh is nearly 97 per cent of the annual income of a household, imagine the harrowingly low level of income that exists is rural Punjab.

If this dismal picture prevails in rural Punjab, where farming is considered to be very advanced with high levels of crop productivity, I shudder to think of the acute distress that prevails elsewhere in the country.

Socio economic survey only confirms my worst fears. It surely makes it abundantly clear that rural India is poorer than what was estimated all these years. With the highest income of a earning member in 75 per cent of the rural households not exceeding Rs 5,000 a month, and with 51 per cent households surviving on manual labour as the primary source of income, the socio-economic survey has exposed the dark underbelly of rural India.

Rural India, comprising 70 per cent of the population, is reeling under acute distress. It’s quite obvious that poverty is a way of life in rural India. Of the nine-crore families who depend on manual labour for their livelihoods, as per the survey, four-crore are small and marginal farmers.

In other words, small and marginal farmers, who constitute nearly 81 per cent of the farming population of the country, are unable to make a living from the small patch of land they hold. They are dependent on rural job scheme (MNREGA) activities to get two meals a day. This is something that was widely known. Some studies have shown that nearly 58 per cent farmers sleep hungry, with as many as 65 per cent banking on MNGREA to supplement their income.

The survey certainly has given us a great insight into the grim happenings in the rural areas. It also debunks all claims of growing rural prosperity that have been woven by pro-market economists after the economic reforms were introduced in 1991. At the same time, the survey is a reflection on how the Five year Plans, introduced in 1951, have also failed to deliver.

Since 52 per cent of the rural population is directly and indirectly engaged in agriculture, the dark picture that has now become visible is primarily because of the continuing neglect of agriculture. If farming had not been deliberately kept impoverished, rural India would have been on the path to economic transformation.

Farm incomes

One way is to look at how farm incomes have been deliberately kept low. The best way is to compare the rise in procurement prices with the rise in incomes of employees in various sectors over a period of 45 years – between 1970 and 2015. In 1970, the wheat procurement price was Rs 76 per quintal.

In 2015, wheat procurement was is Rs 1450 per quintal, an increase of about 19 times. In the same period, the average basic salary plus DA of Central government employees have risen by 110 to 120 times; of school teachers by 280 to 320 times; of college/university teachers by 150 to 170 times; and of mid to high class corporate sector employees by 350 to 1000 times.

If only, farm incomes had been raised in proportion to the salary rise for all other sectors, rural India too would have been shining. But unfortunately, instead of direct interventions to prop up the rural economy, the focus again is on increasing the pace of reforms hoping that the benefits would trickle down to rural India.

This has failed in the past, and is sure to fail again. More economic reforms therefore is not the answer. What is immediately required is to provide more income into the hands of farmers as well provide more public investment in the rural areas. In the 10 years of 11th and 12th Plan, only Rs 2.5 lakh-crore have been provided for agriculture.

In the same 10 year period, industry has been given tax concessions alone to the tune of Rs 42 lakh crore. By keeping agriculture starved of resources, it is dishonest to expect an economic miracle in rural India.


10 CMs to skip NITI Aayog meeting on land bill

New Delhi: July 12, 2015, dhns:

image for representation

After sticking to its guns in the Parliamentary panel, the Congress has decided to take its battle against the amendments to the land acquisition law to the NITI Aayog.

The chief ministers of Congress-ruled states are mulling over boycotting a meeting to discuss the amendments to the land bill convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 15 under the aegis of the NITI Aayog.

The Congress has steadfastly opposed any amendments to the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act that was passed by the then UPA-II government in 2013.

The Modi government had in December 2014 promulgated an Ordinance notifying changes to the law that had made land acquisition easier. The move kicked up a controversy with the Congress taking the lead against any amendments to the law in the passage of which Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi had taken personal interest.

The Centre has been unable to get the amendments passed by Parliament in the three-month long Budget Session and was forced to re-issue the Ordinance twice. Knowing that the amendments would be defeated in the Rajya Sabha, where the NDA is in minority, the land bill was referred to a Joint Committee of Parliament.

The Congress leaders have further toughened their stand at the Committee meeting, demanding equal compensation for land acquired in both rural and urban areas. The law passed by the UPA-II has provisions for payment of twice the circle rate of land in urban areas.

For rural areas, the price of the land is fixed at four times the circle rate. In a letter to the Committee, Congress members have demanded that the compensation in both rural and urban areas should be four times that of the circle rates.