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Assam Governor urged not to give assent to ordinance on MSMEs, The Sentinel

The Sentinel
02 July 2020

The Assam Cabinet’s ordinance on MSMEs allows the setup of industries without any kind of permission or license for three years

Guwahati: The Rights and Risks Analysis Group (RRAG) today urged the Assam Governor Professor Jagdish Mukhi, not to give assent to the Ordinance approved by the Assam State Cabinet to allow MSMEs to set up industries without any kind of permission or license for three years solely on the basis of a self-declaration on the grounds of being “unconstitutional” and “disastrous” for the MSMEs as well as the people of Assam.

“The Ordinance effectively suspends the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement Act of 2013, the Forest Rights Act of 2006, Chapter X of the Assam Land And Revenue Regulation of 1886, the Environment Protection Act of 1986 and the Biological Diversity Act of 2002, which prohibit the certain land acquisition and prescribe the manner in which land can be acquired. There is no provision either in the Constitution of India or these laws to suspend their operation for the purposes of acquiring lands to set up industries”, stated Suhas Chakma, Director of the RRAG, in a letter to the Assam Governor.

“This will be disastrous for the MSMEs as their investment shall remain stuck up because of the illegality of land acquisition. This is equally disastrous for the individuals or communities on whose lands industries will be set up as they will be forced to challenge illegal land acquisition before the courts”, he added further. “Assam needs to follow the laws and not suspend laws to boost investment as such illegal measures vitiate investment sentiment. People want to invest in a safe environment and not in a state of legal limbo”, said Chakma.

At the same time, the indigenous organizations, including the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), are also up in arms over this decision of the Government, on the grounds that it violates the rights of the indigenous. In a statement, the AASU said that it is not going to accept a decision that is set to take the land rights of the indigenous people of the state. The student body has also resolved to burn copies of the cabinet decision in all parts of Assam, except Kamrup (Metro), where a lockdown is currently in effect.

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