Days after an ordinance in Assam, which allowed anyone to set up an MSME industry by just submitting a self-declaration, ran into protests from the opposition and civil society, the state government clarified Friday that the ordinance neither dealt with sale or purchase of land, nor affected “the land rights of indigenous people” and pre-existing land laws.
On June 30, the state cabinet approved the “Assam Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (Facilitation of Establishment and Operation) Ordinance, 2020”. The provisions of the ordinance say that the Assam government will notify an Investment Facilitation Agency to facilitate establishment of enterprises. One who wants to start an enterprise will have to furnish to the nodal agency a declaration of intent to start an enterprise with an undertaking that they will “follow all the relevant provisions of all the Acts, Rules and Guidelines and ensure labour welfare measures, adequate fire safety and environmental measures as required by law”.
On Friday, state Industries and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said in a statement, “This Ordinance will not affect the land rights of indigenous people of Assam as protected by the Assam Agricultural Land (Regulation of Reclassifications and Transfer for Non-Agricultural Purpose) Act 2015. T
Patowary said. “It does not allow any person to buy or sell any agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes. Therefore, any apprehension that an entrepreneur under the provisions of this Ordinance, will buy agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes is totally unfounded.”