GoM approves Land Acquisition
October 16, 2012
It will be
introduced in Parliament in winter session
After three rounds
of vigorous debate, a Group of Ministers has approved the
controversial Land Acquisition Bill, with few changes from the
version presented to the Union Cabinet last month.
This paves the way
for the Bill to be introduced in Parliament in the winter
divisions over the consent requirements, sources at the GoM
indicated that the final draft says only two-thirds of
landowners will have to agree before land can be acquired for
private sector projects as well as joint private-public
The original Bill
had called for 80 per cent consent from both landowners as well
as those who stood to lose their livelihood. Industry lobbyists
had pushed for this requirement to be diluted.
It is not clear what
has been decided on the other controversial issue of
retrospective effect. The original Bill had stipulated that its
compensation and rehabilitation provisions would apply
retrospectively to ongoing acquisitions which had not yet
completed the process of land transfer under the old Land
Acquisition Act, 1894.
Sources say this
clause has been removed and instead, a cut-off date ? to be
decided later ? will be set for the new Act?s provisions to come
?The Bill is
finalised. We have finalised the draft,? Agriculture Minister
Sharad Pawar, who chaired the GoM, told journalists after the
meeting. ?On each and every issue where there were different
views, we succeeded in bringing [about] some understanding.?
The Bill, now named
The Right to Fair Compensation, Resettlement, Rehabilitation and
Transparency in Land Acquisition Bill, was originally introduced
in Parliament in September 2011.
Thereafter, it was
referred to a Standing Committee. The Cabinet, which considered
a revised draft last month, referred the Bill to the GoM after
several Ministers objected to provisions that were seen as
hurdles to infrastructure development and investor sentiment.
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