Land Acquisition Bill introduced in Lok Sabha
New Delhi, Sep 7: A bill providing for compensation upto four times the market value of land in rural areas and twice the value in urban areas along with the stipulation that consent of 80 per cent of the people is necessary was introduced in the Lok Sabha today.
The much-awaited Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011, introduced by Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh also proposes controlled acquisition of multi-crop irrigated land for developmental purposes.
The bill prepared after pre-legislative consultations has made significant changes in its earlier draft.
Acknowledging that in its earlier draft, the multiple for total compensation for acquired land in rural areas was 6, Ramesh later said the multiple of compensation in rural area has been reduced to 4 while in urban areas it remains at 2.
He said changes were made after considering "lot of concerns" that were raised in the meeting of the consultative committee of the Ministry during which members said that 6 times compensation in rural areas would "impose a heavy burden on industry and infrastructure".
The proposed legislation, which will replace a more than century old Act, has comprehensively defined the clause "Public purpose" to ensure that Government's intervention in acquisition is limited to "defence, (and) certain development projects only."
"It has also been ensured that consent of at least 80 per cent of the project affected families is to be obtained through a prior informed process," Ramesh said in the statement of objects and reasons of the bill.
The bill also clearly states that multi-crop irrigated land could be acquired "as a last resort measure."
"Multi-crop irrigated land will not be acquired except as a demonstrably last resort measure, which in no case should lead to acquisition of more than 5 per cent of multi-crop irrigated area in a district," he said.
Ramesh said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other Ministers dealing with infrastructure portfolios had agreed with the concerns raised in his ministry's consultative committee meeting about higher compensation.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and other ministers handling key infrastructure portfolios spoke on the concerns also expressed by Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and some MPs from Punjab, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
"....And after a great deal of discussion, the multiple in rural area is now 4 instead of 6 in urban areas it remains 2," he said and dismissed the allegations that it has been diluted.
"The Government is trying to bring a balance between different objectives. You always try to negotiate to everybody's advantage. And right now I believe that the multiple of 4 in rural areas and multiple in 2 in urban areas is acceptable to all sides, to all stakeholders," he said.
Claiming that the bill is not a one-sided draft, Ramesh said, "it is pro land owner, it is pro livelihood loser and it is also pro economic growth."
"It is a balanced draft. It is a difficult balance," the Minister told reporters expressing hope that the Standing Committee on Rural Development will by and large give its approval to the bill that is introduced.
According the bill, consent of 80 per cent of the project affected families' are required for the Government's acquisition of land "for pubic sector companies or PPP projects and for private companies for the production of public goods.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 7 Sep 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 7 Sep 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 8 Sep 2011 00:00:00 IST
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