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Land Acquisition Bill tabled in Lok Sabha

New Delhi, Sep 7 The Government today tabled the Land Acquisition Bill in the Lok Sabha that aims to draw infrastructure investment while compensating farmers and land-owners.

The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011, was introduced by Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh after making some changes in its earlier draft.

The current Parliament session ends tomorrow and the bill is unlikely to be passed before Parliament reconvenes later this year.

“Land that is not used within 10 years in accordance with the purposes, for which it was acquired, shall be transferred to the state government’s land bank,” says the statement of objects and reasons of the bill.

The Union Cabinet on Monday cleared the Land Acquisition Bill which proposes to give a much better deal, including higher compensation, to landowners, and sets the stage for a radical overhaul of the 1894 Act.

The bill proposes to develop an equivalent area of culturable wasteland, if multi-crop land is acquired. The bill also says only rehabilitation and resettlement provisions will apply when private companies buy land for a project – more than 100 acres in rural areas, or more than 50 acres in urban areas.

Indications are that the Government may try to get the bill passed in the winter session, after it is vetted by the Standing Committee.

Farmers complain they are not adequately compensated for their land, while companies are wary of making large investments for fear that courts will strip them of their holdings.

The bill has broadly been praised by industry for setting clearer rules, but some in the private sector say a proposal to pay farmers multiples of market value for their land will push project costs up too far.


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