Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill was passed on August 29, 2013. The Bill aims to provide compensation to those whose land is taken away, brings transparency to the process of acquisition of land to set up factories or buildings and assures rehabilitation of those affected. This legislation has been eagerly sought by both industry and those who live off the land. According to various reports, out of the 235 MPs who voted on the Bill, 216 backed it while 19 voted against it. The Bill aims to replace a nearly 120-year-old law enacted during British rule in 1894.
Where the affected families belonging to the SC and the ST are relocated outside of the district then they shall be paid an additional 25 rehabilitation and resettlement benefits to which they are entitled in monetary terms along with a one-time entitlement of Rs 50, 000.
In every project those losing land and belonging to the SC or ST will be provided land equivalent to land acquired or two and a one-half acres, whichever is lower (this is higher than in the case of non-SC/ST affected families)
Where acquired land is sold to a third party for a higher price than 40 per cent of the appreciated land value (or profit) will be shared with the original owners.
No income tax shall be levied and no stamp duty shall be charged on any amount that accrues to an individual as a result of the provisions of the new Law.
In case, land remains unutilised after acquisition, the new Bill empowers States to return the land either to the owner or to the State Land Bank.
To safeguard Food Security and to prevent arbitrary acquisition, the Bill directs States to impose limits on the area under agricultural cultivation that can be acquired.
In cases where PPP projects are involved or acquisition is taking place for private companies, the Bill requires the consent of no less than 70 per cent and 80 per cent respectively (in both cases) of those whose land is sought to be acquired.
Compensation to those who are dependent on the land being acquired for their livelihood.
No one shall be dispossessed until and unless all payments are made and alternative sites for the resettlement and rehabilitation have been prepared.
No law can be acquired in Scheduled Areas without the consent of the Gram Sabhas.
To address historical injustices, the Bill applies retrospectively to cases where no land acquisition award has been made.
Payment of compensations that is up to four times the market value in rural areas and two times the market value in urban areas.
(Photo by AP)
(With inputs from agencies)