The draft national land acquisition and rehabilitation and resettlement bill is likely to have a significant bearing on the implementation of India’s plans to create its own versions of China-style mega industrial cities. Such cities are equipped with production units, public utilities, residential areas, schools and hospitals.
Last month, the Centre had given the in-principle approval to the draft national manufacturing policy (NMP) that has envisaged setting up several national investment and manufacturing zones (NIMZs) spread across 5,000 hectares (12,500 acres) on an average.
On Friday, chambers of commerce welcomed the proposal to define industry and infrastructure as ‘public purpose’ in the draft bill, which is released for public debate.
It is to be seen if the Centre will broker land deals for setting up of such large clusters. Some existing special economic zones or export-oriented duty free enclaves will be subsumed within the industrial zones planned in the NMP.
The Centre plans to earmark Rs 3,500 crore every year for the next five years to set up the first of the seven NMIZs that will come up on the proposed Delhi- Mumbai industrial corridor (DMIC). The 1,483-km project running through seven states — Delhi, UP, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra — will come up along the proposed Delhi-Mumbai rail freight corridor.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said the draft bill clearly stipulates that the Centre will have a role in land purchase for the proposed zones. “We welcome the proposal to include infrastructure and industry in the definition of public purpose,” CII director general Chandrajit Banerjee said.
Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) DG Rajiv Kumar said: “The new law will hopefully make the environment more conducive for expanding the manufacturing capacities and achieving the national target of 25% contribution of manufacturing in country’s GDP.”