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  • Pakistan

    'Land grant policy' for farmers introduced: Marri

    The Sindh government has introduced 'Land Grant Policy' for poor farmers in the 2008-09 Budget for 'absolute' elimination of feudalism from the province. "Absolutely, this is to eliminate feudalism and change this (feudal) mindset," Sindh Minister for Information Shazia Marri told Business Recorder when asked if the Policy, under which 212000 acres land would be granted to landless farmers, could be termed as a step towards elimination of feudalism in the province.

  • Draft coal policy not okayed for differences over royalty, acquisition of land

    The much-talked-about 8th draft coal policy was not approved at the Advisory Council meeting due to strong differences over the issues of payment of royalty, acquisition of land, and quite a large number of ambiguities in it. Sources at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources told The New Nation yesterday that the draft coal policy was sent back to the ministry concerned for further scrutiny. Besides, the meeting of the Council of Advisers held on Wednesday in Chittagong suggested to make the draft coal policy smaller in size removing all the ambiguities.

  • Pakistan

    Secret deals

    About 8,000 ha in the restricted area along the India-Pakistan border has been sold to unknown buyers from across the country in the past five years. The bought land in Barmer and Jaisalmer districts belongs to the residents of the area and the Border Security Force. The deals were struck through agents in Jaisalmer and the buyers are listed from Delhi and Tamil Nadu, among other places. But their addresses and names are incomplete.

  • 'Take action against Rajpur land grabbers'

    Speakers at a view exchange meeting yesterday called on the authorities to evict land grabbers from about 300 bighas of land at Rajpur in Lalmonirhat and return them to the genuine owners. They also called for stern action against the illegal encroachers. Rajpur Char Land Recover Committee organised the meeting at Cirdap auditorium in the capital, with Shudhir Chandra Mohonto, convenor of the committee and a former union parishad chairman, in the chair. A booklet titled 'Roktakto Rajpur' was also launched at the programme. Eminent economist Prof Muzaffer Ahmad, former adviser to the caretaker government Sultana Kamal, University Grants Commission Member Prof AHM Zihadul Karim, Assistant Professor Abdur Rob of Jahangirnagar University, FEMA President Munira Khan, ActionAid Country Director Farah Kabir and representatives of Rajpur char dwellers spoke at the programme, moderated by Bidhan Chandra Pal of The Hunger Project. Expressing their shock at the land grabbing incident during this government, the speakers criticised the local administration for their inaction and demanded withdrawal of false cases filed against the real owner of the char lands. They also urged all to unite to launch a social movement to protect the char dwellers across the country. Representatives of the char dwellers alleged that a well-connected political leader in collusion with the local police administration has grabbed at least 300 bighas of char land in Rajpur. His men also tortured the real owners of the land when they refused to hand over their land to him, they added.

  • Sylhet chamber chooses lands for special economic zone

    Sylhet Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) has selected 1,000 acres of land for setting up an special economic zone in order to attract investment especially from the non-resident Sylheties. The special economic zone, adjacent to Fenchuganj-Tamabil Bypass Road Link, will provide land and other infrastructural facilities to the entrepreneurs to set up manufacturing and other industrial units. "We will submit the proposal to the government for acquiring the land,' said SCCI President Junnun Mahmud Khan. He said the chamber has completed a feasibility study on setting up a special economic zone or an industrial park in Sylhet division from where a large number of expatriates are living mainly in the UK and USA. The SCCI has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the British-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BBCCI) in 2006. Under the deal, the BBCCI will bring together the non-resident Sylheties to invest in the economic zone. It is expected that 65 percent land of the zone will be provided to the expatriates. According to the feasibility study, Sylhet has available land, abundant natural and forest resources to set up an economic zone or industrial park. There is an ample scope to increase production of various agricultural commodities. In Sylhet division, there is also scope to increase fish production through undertaking aggressive programmes and activities. Sylhet has economically significant storage of minerals for industrialisation. Natural gas, limestone, sand stone and sand, glass sand and coal are available in this region. Some supports should be provided to the non-resident Sylheties to encourage investment. The supports include investment security, one-stop services cell for registration, licensing and regulatory formalities, prompt and easy access to physical infrastructure like plots and utility connections, access to institutional support for identification of the reliable and good local partners, strong access to business support services such as banks, insurance and shipping, easy access to reliable expert and consulting services, access to amenities and recreation facilities, and cargo shed and jet fueling station in Sylhet airport, the study said. In the economic zone, there will be scope for establishing power plants, agro processing units, re-rolling mills and steel casting mills, said Nasim Hussain, senior vice-president of SCCI. As the seven sister states of India are very near from Sylhet, the entrepreneurs or the investors will have an easy access to the seven sisters to export their products, he said. "We are hoping to get a huge response from the Sylheti expatriates,' he added. Sarwar@thedailystar.net

  • Allocation of govt land among landless suggested to reduce poverty

  • Sri Lanka

    Land Degradation

    Land Degradation

    Land Degradation

    Land Degradation

    Land is the most vital and heavily threatened natural resource in Sri Lanka. Degradation of land due to soil erosion is of much concern because of its consequences on agriculture, which is a major contributor to the country's GDP. It is estimated that about 5-10 mm of topsoil is lost every year.

  • Sri Lanka

    Encroached area of Kolonnawa Marshland

    Encroached area of Kolonnawa Marshland

    Residential area built on part of the Kolonnawa marshland, Sri Lanka. Colombo’s marshes cannot avert floods the way they used to. Construction is to be blamed

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