IN THIS GENERATION WHERE THE WAVE OF GENDER EQUALITY IS AT ITS PEAK, AGE OLD TRADITION THAT DISCRIMINATES PURCHASING OF LAND BASED ON GENDER HAS TO BE CHANGED, AND UNDERSTANDING THE NEED FOR AMENDMENT, COMUNIDADES ARE TO SOON ELIMINATE THIS PATRIARCHAL SYSTEM

Comunidade is on its way of eliminating gender discrimination that has been embedded in comunidade system for many ages, that will permit shareholders the right to purchase comunidade land. These are some of key recommendations of a government-appointed Comunidade Commission, which are being deliberated by Revenue Minister Rohan Khaunte.

Major amendments in the Comunidades Act could take place if the State government accepts the recommendations of the five-member Comunidade Commission. The revenue department has already begun initial discussions on these recommendations, after Khaunte recently convened a meeting with Commission members and senior officers of the department.

A series of discussions are expected to take place, before the government decides on the amendments in the Act.  A senior officer from revenue department said there had been many minor amendments in the Communidade Act from Liberation till 2012. “But there is need to make important amendments in the Act,” the officer said.

Another officer said the existing Act should be withdrawn as it was enacted during the Portuguese era. “Since the last 50 years, there have been significant changes in society and in this regard, huge changes are needed in the Act,” the officer added.  It may be recalled that the high court had directed the formation of the Communidade Commission while delivering an order and accordingly, the Commission was formed in March 2013.

Former deputy chief minister and then revenue minister Francis D’Souza was convener of the Commission while Adv Antonio Braganza was its coordinator. Architect Tulio D’Souza, Savio Correia and Agusto Monteiro were members, while senior lawyer M S Usgaonkar and Egypsio Noronha Rodrigues were consultants.

The Commission was appointed for a period of one year, but was given an extension till December 2015.  “We have carefully complied with the high court order and the government should accept the Commission’s recommendations and implement them,” said Tulio D’Souza.

“The Commission has recommended suggestions based on the agrarian nature of the comunidades,” he added.  THE RECOMMENDATIONS: Some of the Commission’s key recommendations include eliminating gender discrimination in comunidades to enable women to enjoy the same rights as males and to set up consultation committees in each of three comunidade zones.

Besides, the Commission also recommended bringing fallow land under cultivation to prevent encroachments and the need of a one-time solution regarding constructions on encroached comunidade land.

The Commission had also suggested that shareholders be given the right to purchase comunidade land, a privilege that is presently enjoyed by only gaonkars.  MINISTER’S VIEWS: Speaking to the sources, Khaunte had indicated his intention to make amendments in the Comunidades Act, but added that the State government will analyse the report submitted by Commission.

“The Commission had also submitted its recommendations to the previous government, but they were not considered and left pending since then. This government convened a meeting with the Commission on Friday to listen to its views,” said Khaunte. “The commission has suggested various recommendations, but the government will first study the Comunidades Act, before taking any decision to amend it,” the minister added.

What do you think about this amendment? Leave your valuable comment.

SOURCE: THE GOAN

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