This is a working paper. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overall framework for the critical assessment of alternative approaches to improving access to land by the rural poor in India , as part of a broader strategy for reducing poverty through rural growth. Viewing persistent constraints on access to land in their historical context, the paper considers India’s record in implementing land reforms, and identifies the elements of a new, complementary approach to improving access to land by the rural poor. This approach includes incremental reforms in public land administration that seek to reduce transaction costs in land markets, thereby facilitating land transfers, while at the same time increasing transparency and public access to information to ensure that socially excluded groups also benefit.
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