Uttar Pradesh will no longer acquire land for private projects. Developers and industrialists will now have to talk to farmers directly and the government will work only as a “facilitator”.
Assailed by protesting farmers on the one hand and the opposition fire on the other, this was the key change in the state’s land acquisition plan, announced by CM Mayawati on Thursday.
The government also revised its relief and rehabilitation (R&R) policy formulated in September 2010.
But it will be applicable with prospective and not retrospective effect, making the protesting farmers of Greater Noida’s Bhatta-Parasaul and Agra’s Tappal villages — and places where land has already been acquired — ineligible for the new benefits.
Before announcing the policy, the CM met nearly 200 farmers who had gathered under the banner of Bharatiya Kisan Union led by Rakesh Tikait.
Under the new policy, the district magistrate will identify land for private projects. The companies will talk to the farmers for purchase. Acquisition will be possible only if 80% of the farmers are ready to sell their land. Once 80% farmers agree, urgency clause under section 6 of the act will be applicable to the remaining land, Mayawati said. The government will step in, acquire the remaining land and hand it over to the firm.
“A project will be reconsidered if 80% farmers are not ready for sale,” Mayawati said.
The company purchasing the land will also build a kisan bhawan and run a model school.The farmers will have two alternatives for sale. They can either take back 16% developed land with R23,000 annuity per acre for 33 years or they can take extra compensation. The developed land will be given free of cost and there will be no stamp duty on it.
The farmers have also been exempted from stamp duty if they purchase land in the state from the compensation money.
For land acquired for public purposes, the farmers will get all the benefits of the policy and they will be exempt from stamp duty if they buy land with the compensation money within a year.