Govt tries to end acquisition blues | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Govt tries to end acquisition blues

The draft national land acquisition and rehabilitation and resettlement bill 2011, seeks to correct the "land markets in the country that are imperfect." Prasad Nichenametla reports.

delhi Updated: Jul 30, 2011 01:27 IST
Prasad Nichenametla

The draft national land acquisition and rehabilitation and resettlement bill 2011, seeks to correct the "land markets in the country that are imperfect."

"Estimations show that land acquisition costs just 1% of the total expenditure on a project, which points the dismal compensation the land owners — most of them small and marginal farmers — are given," said NC Saxena, a NAC member.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/30_07_11-metro10.jpg

"We sought to correct the discrepancy with the provisions," Saxena, a key member of team that drafted the bill, added.

The new draft, open for betterment till end of August, proposes six times the land value as compensation against acquisition in the rural areas — including a 100% solatium on the market value multiplied by three in rural areas.

As value of the land is high and people are better educated to negotiate, the compensation is limited to double the market value in urban areas, a ministry official said.

"Land acquisition must take place in a manner that fully protects the interests of landowners and also of those whose livelihoods depend on the land being acquired," rural development minister Jairam Ramesh said in the foreword to the bill.

While land-for-land as a provision is done away with "as land is the constraint and the challenge," the bill proposes one acre of land to each family in the command area, "if land is acquired for an irrigation project."

Following a suggestion from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi the bill provisions comply with tribal laws such as the Panchayats (Extension to Schedule Areas) Act and the Forest Rights Act. A special provision for the STs also allows one acre of land to each family in every project and also free land for their community and social gatherings.

In a proposal that would make the land losers in urban, semi-urban areas partners in the projects, the bill says 20% of the developed land acquired for urbanisation would be reserved and offered to land owners, "in proportion to their land acquired."