Bill envisages land acquisition at market rates - The Economic Times

NEW DELHI: The Land Acquisition (Amendment) bill and legislation on Resettlement and Rehabilitation will incorporate farmer-friendly provisions such as flexibility in fixing land rates after factoring prices prevailing in adjoining areas and employment to project-displaced persons.

The twin bills are in the final stages of drafting by the Union Rural Development Ministry . With the exception of a few changes, they will mirror the bills drafted by the previous United Progressive Alliance Government. The two bills were passed by the Lok Sabha on February 25, 2009, but could not be tabled in the Upper House.

The 14th Lok Sabha was dissolved soon after, sealing their fate. The new bills retain the flavour of the original pieces of legislation. The Centre, while indicating its willingness to bring in a few changes to make it more humane and appealing to the farmers whose land is sought to be acquired, said the new bills are modelled on the 2009 version.

But the government's plans are likely to run into resistance from the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council which, on Wednesday, discussed the draft prepared by the working group led by social activist Aruna Roy. Its version makes out a case for paying a compensation package that is six times the registered price of the land to be acquired and a payment of 10 times the wages earned by non-landholders on the land sought to be purchased.

To prevent any agitation, the draft bill formulated by NAC says approval for land acquisition should be granted only if 70% of the people being displaced agree to it. And if a party transfers the land acquired with the help of the government at a profit, then it will have to pay 25% of the differential to the farmers. It remains to be seen whether NAC's proposals are factored in by the Rural Development Ministry, which is piloting the twin bills. "There are three broad parameters which will be our guiding force while drafting the bills," said Rural Development Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.

"Acquisition can be done only through negotiation, and not by force. Fertile land, as a matter of policy, will not be taken over. And project-affected families will have to provided with employment,'' he added. The Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill earmarks three categories of projects for which the government can acquire 100% land. These include establishment of installations pertaining to national security, infrastructure and facilities designated as 'social infrastructure', such as health, education and space research.

For any project other than the above, land would be acquired in the 70:30 ratio, with the company planning to set up the facility on that land being asked to purchase 70% of it, according to Deshmukh. The state government would step into the picture only after the private player had done its bit, by agreeing to take over the remaining 30% if it felt the project fell in the 'public purpose' domain.

The clause, which has been co-opted in the 2010 bill, is certain to face resistance from the Trinamool Congress, an important component of the UPA, which has made it very clear that it was opposed to any form of state intervention in land-acquisition.

Congress managers are hoping that, having been voted to power in West Bengal by an overwhelming mandate, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will strike a realistic position. Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is expected to meet her in the next few days to bring her on board. "We are very close to finalising our draft bill. We should be in a position to send the two bills to the Law Ministry next month for its vetting, after which it will be put up before the Union Cabinet," Deshmukh said.
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  • This will surely move the prices upwards....
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  • Vilasrao Deshmukh is the Minister in charge and architect of this Land Acquisition Bill. Not too long ago, he quit as Maha CM due to something called as "Adarsh Co-Op Society". Now he will spearhead the movement to give equitable compensation to Farmers and other landowners of this country. :D:D:D
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  • Originally Posted by capreal26
    Vilasrao Deshmukh is the Minister in charge and architect of this Land Acquisition Bill. Not too long ago, he quit as Maha CM due to something called as "Adarsh Co-Op Society". Now he will spearhead the movement to give equitable compensation to Farmers and other landowners of this country. :D:D:D


    good for all who have bought an apartment for living. those sitting on fence will bear the burnt.
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