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Bold land rules, domicile and investment policies mark Das’s second year in office

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by December 27, 2016 General
Ranchi: The state’s NDA government headed by chief minister Raghubar Das will complete its second year on Wednesday. This is the state’s first majority government.

Das’s second year in office was marked by some bold and controversial decisions. He became the first CM to makwe a bid at amending the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act (CNT) and the Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act (SPT), risking a strong resistance from the state’s tribal population.

The government, which changed certain provisions of the CNT and SPT Acts through a voice vote in the assembly, has sent its amendment proposal to President Pranab Mukherjee for approval.

The two Acts are largely seen as a shield to the land rights of the tribals.

The government went ahead with its amendment proposal despite opposition from its own alliance partner, All Jharkhand Students’ Union (Ajsu Party). Not only this, major opposition parties such as Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) ,Congress and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P), too, opposed the amendments tooth and nail by organizing protest rallies and strikes.

BJP stalwart and former CM Arjun Munda also openly went against Das’s decision.

Undeterred by all this, Das defended the amendments as a move towards progress and development. He maintained that the changes in the land Acts would help the tribals grow stronger economically.

He also introduced a new local resident policy.

The latter half of the second year saw Das going a lot to invite investment to the state, which has almost 40% of the country’s mineral resources. He hopped from city to city for interactive sessions with the country’s leading entrepreneurs and industrialists.

Das took his investment campaign beyond the borders of India. Earlier this month, he led a delegation to Singapore , one of Asia’s thriving business centres. This southeast Asian journey was part of his preparations for the next year’s Global Summit on investment in Jharkhand.

The state government focused on the development of tourism in the state. It also identified destinations that can be developed into major tourist attractions. Major dams, waterfalls, lakes and parks are on top of the list.

The state government came face to face with land acquisition problems when it offered help to the Adani group to set up a major power plant in Godda.

Besides, it faced strong protest from villagers when it tried to acquire land for National Thermal Power Corporation’s (NTPC) projects in Hazaribag.

During one protest demonstration, police had to open fire killing four villagers in Barkagaon of Hazaribag. Police had to fire on land protesters again in Gola (Ramgarh) and Khunti.

It performed remarkably well during the Swachh Bharat campaign. The state government lent full support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation campaign. It quickly took steps to introduce cashless transactions as much as possible. The state also encouraged surrenders by Maoists through its attractive rehabilitation package.

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