Important Points from the Land Acquisition Bill
Land Acquisition Bill is a historic bill that would change a more than 100 year old law. What are the important provisions in the Bill?
All you needed to know about the Land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation Bill
What is the need for a new bill on land acquisition?
The current Law “The Land Acquisition Act 1894” was framed in 1894 ! Yes, thats over 100 years age
The old law has various shortcomings:
• Forced acquisitions were allowed No real appeal mechanism to stop the the acquisition.
• No provisions for resettlement and rehabilitation of the displaced
• Urgency clause – authorities could take away the land citing an urgency without initiating provisions for rehabilitation or compensation
• Compensation was low and based on outdated circle rates
Highlights of the new Bill
• Compensation: Four times the market value in rural areas and twice the market value in urban areas. There is a compensation for those who are dependent on the land.
• Resettlement and Rehabilitation: processes (and entitlements) for resettlement and rehabilitation is laid out and the benefits are outlined. No acquisition before the payments are made and alternate sites are allotted for rehabilitation.
• The Bill applies retrospectively to cases where no land acquisition award has been made. If the acquisition was made five years ago but compensation has not been made fresh acquisition process has to be started.
• Participation of local Panchayati Raj institutions
• No acquisition in scheduled areas without the consent of the Gram Sabhas.
• Consent of at least 80% for private projects and 70% for PPP projects is required
• If the acquired land is sold to a third party for a higher price, 40% of the profit has to be shared with the original owners.
Provisions to ensure food security
• Multi-crop land to be acquired only as a last resort.
• States to impose limits on the area of agricultural/ multi-crop land that can be acquired in a State.
• If agricultural land is acquired, the state has to cultivate an equivalent area of land elsewhere.
Its not difficult to see the need for a new law for land acquisitions. However, the effectiveness and the impact of the new law is something only time can tell.