Kohima: Nagaland government spokesperson and Minister for Planning & Coordination, land revenue and parliamentary affairs, Neiba Kronu, on Thursday said that it has become a “must” for the state to have its own land laws to promote developmental activities.

As the state continues to use the Assam land laws, he stressed on the need to have a “new system” for the state of Nagaland where the lands will be protected. “We should have a new land system. The draft is underway. One has been sent to the law and justice department for examination and on the other side we are also taking the opinion of experts,” he said.

Saying that the land issue is “a very delicate matter” as it attracts Art 371(A), he said that the draft will be thoroughly examined. He revealed that under the new land laws, even if a land is mortgaged to a funding agency, the agency will not be allowed to sell it to the outsiders. “I think this way, we are protected,” he said.

According to him, in the new system, land ownership certificates will be issued to maintain a record for which a separate format has been worked out.

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The minister’s statement comes amid the low ranking of the state in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) index where land ownership in the state has been highlighted as a major issue hindering and delaying developmental activities. Although the ranking has been low, he said that it has helped the government to identify which areas need focus.

In the overall performance percentage rated by the SDG India for the Northeast states, he said that Nagaland secured 61% in 2020 as compared to 57%. Nagaland is placed below Sikkim (71%), Mizoram (68%), Tripura (65%), Manipur (64%), and is placed above Meghalaya (60%), Arunachal Pradesh (60%) and Assam (57%).

As reported earlier, NITI Aayog adviser Sanyukta Samadar has informed that Nagaland has done “remarkably well” in clean water and sanitation, poverty eradication, clean energy, sustainable consumption and production, peace justice and strong institutions. She had said that there is improvement in zero poverty in the state as well.

However, the state has seen a decline in quality education (SDG 4); gender equality (SDG 5); decent work and economic growth (SDG 8); industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9); reduced inequalities (SDG 10), and urban habitat (SDG 11).

As per the SDG performance of districts in Nagaland, Kohima is the top-performing district and Kiphire district is the least performer. For the percentage of districts in the performance category, none of the districts made it to the achiever category (100%) as per SDG-wise distribution. 100% of the districts are in the red category (aspirant category, a score of less than 50) for SDG 1—No poverty.

As for SDG 3 (Good health and well being), 63.64% are in the red category and 36.63% are in the yellow category; in Goal 4 (quality education) – 9 % in red, 63% in yellow and 27% are in the green category. On gender equality (SDG 5), 54.55% are in the yellow category and 45.45% in the blue category.

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