Monday, November 24, 2014

The Land Acquisition Law Confusion

After a long drawn debate, and discussion last year, dcoumented at - the Confusion of the Land Acquisition Law/s Continues...

Nov 20, 2014
Law minister Sadananda Gowda on Wednesday ruled out taking the ordinance route for any amendments in the Land Acquisition Act <<>> though he said the government was in favour of bringing some changes.  "There is a proposal. The call has to be taken by the concerned (rural development) ministry," he said, without elaborating on the proposed changes.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley had last week said the government will amend the "tough" land acquisition law even without opposition support as it looks to restore confidence in the economy. The government is in favour of consulting other parties and developing a consensus on the proposed changes. Some states have already expressed concern and cited difficulties in acquiring land for infrastructure projects with stringent clause such as obtaining consent of at least 70% of affected landowners in case of PPP projects and 80% in case of private projects.
Source - Times of India

Nov 9, 2014
The Land Acquisition Bill, which was passed during the previous UPA regime with then opposition BJP supporting it, seeks to set a fair compensation for farm land being taken over for industrial projects. But the law has made land acquisition very difficult, slowing projects. States too have come out openly against the law saying it had hurt the process of acquiring land for infrastructure projects. Jaitley said that the "obstacles" to the land laws would have to be first removed in order to implement the concept of smart cities in India.
In Budget 2014-15, Jaitley had proposed an allocation of Rs 7,060 crore for developing 100 'smart cities' in the country. The Rural Development Ministry has already suggested a number of amendments to the Land Acquisition Act that will water down provisions such as mandatory consent of at least 70% locals for acquiring land for PPP projects, and 80 per cent for private projects. Jaitley also said that the government's disinvestment programme will "unfold" in the next couple of days.
Source - DNA India

July 15, 2014.
The government is keen on bringing changes in the new Land Acquisition Act to make it more industry friendly.  The government may also convene an all-party meet to evolve a consensus so that a Bill to amend the one-year-old law could be introduced in the ongoing session of Parliament.
Rural Development Minister Nitin Gadkari has already started informal consultations with the allies as well as some of the opposition parties.
The Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) has sent a note to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), suggesting dilution in some of the key provisions of the Act, as proposed by the revenue ministers of the state governments during their recent meeting with Gadkari.
The provisions that the MoRD is keen to dilute include the one that made it mandatory to obtain prior consent of at least 70 per cent of land owners in case of acquisitions for public-private-partnership (PPP) projects and 80 per cent in case of private projects.
In its note to the PMO, the MoRD suggested that the requirement of consent of land owners should be done away with for the PPP projects, where the governments hold ownership of the land. If the rider cannot be struck off, the clause should be revised to make sure that land could be acquired even if 50 per cent of the owners had given consent, the MoRD argued in its note.  The Congress-led UPA government got the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill passed by both the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha during the monsoon session of Parliament last year. It replaced the archaic Land Acquisition Act of 1894. The new law was projected as a pro-farmer legislation and triggered concerns in the industry about the delays it would cause to acquire land for any project. Though the BJP helped pass the bill in Parliament, the party hinted during its campaign for the Lok Sabha polls earlier this year that it would give the law a re-look if elected to power.
Source - Deccan Herald

Time will only tell...

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