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Land acquisition bill: States to decide who acquires land

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Land acquisition bill: States to decide who acquires land

Last updated: July 28 2011
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  • Land acquisition bill: States to decide who acquires land

    Land acquisition bill: States to decide who acquires land - The Economic Times

    NEW DELHI: In a move aimed at getting the Trinamool Congress on board, the Centre's draft land acquisition and rehabilitation bill has suggested giving states the leeway to decide on who acquires the land.

    At the same time, in an effort to strengthen its aam aadmi quotient, the Congress-led UPA government's draft states that irrespective of who acquires the land, affected persons of all acquisitions of 100 acres or more must be compensated as per the rehabilitation and resettlement norms outlined in the central legislation.

    Most protests against land acquisition, whether in Noida and western Uttar Pradesh or Jaitapur, have been on account of inadequate compensation. The focus on compensation for the landowners and livelihood dependents is in line with Congress' approach to present itself as a voice of the people in states like Uttar Pradesh.

    This focus on compensation rather than the detail of who acquires the land is keeping with the efforts by Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, who led a walkathon or padyatra in western UP in support of the farmers.

    Giving states the leeway to decide on how land is acquired could also quell the criticism of subverting the federal structure that has been often-levelled against Congress.

    The question of whether the state and its agencies or the developer should acquire the land is a political issue on which there is little consensus even within UPA. In making the compensation norms as outlined in the draft bill universally applicable, the Centre has maneuvered around this sticky question of who should undertake land acquisitions.

    This is provision allows for a via media allowing key UPA ally Trinamool Congress to get on board with the bill. The Trinamool Congress does not favour land acquisition by the government instead it is of the view that 100% of the land should be acquired by the developer. Land acquisition, particularly compensation to farmers, was one of the key drivers of Mamata Banerjee's electoral success.

    By stressing on that the compensation package has to follow the norms set out in the Bill, the government hopes to address the main cause for most of the protests against land acquisitions.

    Landowners will have to be compensated to the tune of six times the registered price or stamp value of their land. They will also receive an annuity of 2,000 per month for 20 years. This is an inflation-linked annuity. For the loss of irrigated land, compensation will be an acre. If the acquired land belongs to a tribal person, then an additional acre would be provided as compensation.
    If You Guys Are Going To Be Throwing Beer Bottles At Us At Least Make Sure They Are Full
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