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Cabinet panel to protect farmers' interests

Bangalore, JUly 25, 2013, DHNS: 23:32 IST

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday announced the formation of a Cabinet sub-committee to suggest amendments to the Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, to protect the interests of farmers who have been cultivating in forest land for many years.

Replying to an issue raised by Madhu Bangarappa (JD-S) in the Legislative Assembly, Siddaramaiah said the recommendations of the sub-committee would be sent to the Centre with a request that provisions of the Act be suitably amended.

Madhu, MLA from Sorab in Shimoga district, said that villagers who had been cultivating in forest land in his constituency and other pockets of the Malnad region for more than 50 years were being evicted by forest officials.

He said while the Centre had agreed to hand over 14,400 acres of forest land to cultivators in 1995-96, forest officials had failed to transfer the land.

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