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Land takeover delays may cost projects worth $100 bn: Report

business Updated: Oct 06, 2009 20:19 IST

Prolonged delays in acquiring land for industrial projects could endanger potential investments worth $100 billion in India, according to an industry lobby report.

"Delays in land acquisition procedures for industrial projects are threatening to endanger investments worth $100 billion all over the country in near term," said the report of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham).

It said land acquisition related issues have dented the investor friendly image of several states.

"Eighteen strangled projects of India Inc to the tune of Rs.2.45 lakh crore (Rs.2.45 trillion) remained on papers over the past three-four years," Assocham said.

This is a "serious concern" which demands immediate solution to bolster the economy, it added.

Earlier this week, global steel major ArcelorMittal threatened to pull out of its $20-billion greenfield projects in Orissa and Jharkhand.

The company is facing strong resistance from local residents against acquiring their land for the projects.

According to an assessment report released by the steel ministry, 22 major projects worth $82 billion are being held up because of delays in land acquisition and some environmental issues.

A smooth implementation of these projects could have created job opportunities for at least 164,000 people directly and 270,000 people indirectly, the industry lobby said.

"The government needs to ensure efficiency in 3 'R's - remuneration, rehabilitation and resettlement - to accomplish the policy objective," said Assocham president Sajjan Jindal said in the report.

The chamber has further suggested the government set up a national land bank for industrial projects.

According to Assocham, compensation for the acquired land should be based on market price along with equity ownership in projects.

State-level forums should be created to assess the economic, environmental, social and cultural viability of rehabilitation and resettlement programmes, it added.