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Tibetans May Possess Land

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: Issue ID: 2006/04/17 ; April 17, 2006.]

TibetNet

Dharamshala, April 18, 2006 (TibetNet) - The state cabinet's decision last winter allowed resident Tibetans to hold land.

Chief Minister Raja Vir Bhadra Singh has now assured a visiting delegation led by Kalon Lobsang Nyandak Zayul that notifications to that effect would soon reach all concerned state authorities.

The delegation headed by the Kalon for Finance and Information & International Relations called on the Chief Minister at his office on Friday, 12 April, in the state capital, Shimla.

"The chief minister was very sympathetic to the genuine needs of Tibetan people," said Kelsang Phuntsok, deputy secretary of the exile Finance Department.

"He was also grateful to His Holiness the Dalai Lama for setting up the headquarters of his administration at Dharamshala," added Phuntsok, who accompanied the Kalon during a two-hour meeting.

The state cabinet's decision, under section 118 (3D) of HP Tenancy and Land Reforms Act, 1972, allows Tibetans with valid proof of 25 or more years of residency to possess land for only residential purpose.

Tibetan organisations were also qualified to possess land meant only for a collective cause.

For ownership of land, individuals and organisations must seek clearance from the state revenue department.

Similarly, a legal solution to alleviate the problems of Tibetans with (benami) landholdings has also been agreed on.

Following a declaration on the (benami) ownership of land by an individual or organisation, the state government would lease the land to the exile Tibetan administration for 50 years at a nominal rent of 1 rupee per year.

The Tibetan administration could in turn sublease the same plot to the concerned Tibetans or organisations.

The tenure of land lease is renewable after expiry.



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