With a view to inject much-needed transparency and to address the concerns of land holders, the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 has replaced the more than a century old Land Acquisition Act, 1894. The prime motive is to facilitate land acquisition for industrialization, infrastructure, and urbanization on one hand and to address the concerns of dependent livelihoods on the other.
the well being of the land owners has been taken care of extensively,
the chief objective of acquiring land is somewhat deserted. The
acquirers and end-buyers of the infrastructural projects would
appreciate the transparency; however more than justified and
lucrative benefits to the land owners are tend to slower the pace of
infrastructural development. Discussed hereunder are some of the
highlights of this new revolutionary-termed Act.
focus on the special provisions of the Act for the benefits of the
farmers. The Collector is bestowed upon with the responsibility to
ensure that no other unutilised land is available prior to
considering any land acquisition. Farmers will be entitled to up to 4
times the highest sale price (though this would add to the cost for
the end-buyers). For ensuring fair acquisition, a clause has been
added that demands prior-consent of at least 70 percent land losers
in case the government looks to acquire land for public-private
partnership projects and 80 percent in case of private companies.
all, the share from increased land value when acquired land is sold
off to another party has been set to 40 percent which shall be
distributed amongst the farmers. Land that is acquired if used for
urbanization purposes would result in offering of 20 percent of the
developed land to the farmers in proportion to the area of their land
acquired at a price equivalent to cost of acquisition and
development. Amounts accrued are exempted from Income Tax as well as
prominent factors include payment of compensation within a period of
three months from the date of the award, plus monetary and
infrastructure R&R entitlements within six months and eighteen
months respectively from the date of the award. Considerable to note,
mandatory employment for one member per family, or INR 5 lakh per
family, or INR 2000/month as annuity for 20 years are the options
that can be availed by the affected families.
the concerns of the land owners have been addressed to maximum
possible extent; however the coin has the other side too. Benefits
that have been showered upon the land owners would add to the cost of
acquisition which subsequently would be extracted from the purchasers
of the projects. Another bottleneck for the acquirers will be the
time duration for receiving consents from the authorities, Gram
Sabhas, and the requisite percentage of the land owners. The move of
the Government has been much appreciated by the land owners and
a country wherein approvals from the authorities are the chief
bottlenecks towards effective project implementation, the new law
seems to enhance such disturbances. To assure that the
infrastructural development moves with an accelerated pace, the
authorities will have to realign their procedures and guidelines.
Time-driven approvals and sanctions are much-required. The new
government that will be looked upon as the driving force for
infrastructural development will have to face the challenges brought
in by this new piece of legislation. The real intention of
urbanization and industrialization can thus remain unachieved.
incapability of developers to acquire land for such high
consideration is rare to serve any purpose. Not just the developers,
the Infrastructure Finance Companies (IFCs) and lending institutions
would suffer from the unjustifiable increase in the compensation and
other perquisites. The servicing of debt by the developers can become
problematic in case the end-buyers find it uneconomic to invest/ buy.
law-makers' progressive thinking and strategic management skills are
somewhat missing. The upcoming union government would be clueless to
manage something that has promised too much for land owners who would
now resist to any modifications, with hindrance to the much-needed
infrastructural and economic growth.
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About The Author
A Chartered Accountant by profession and Director on the board of Punjab National Bank (PNB), General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC) and Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC). Dr. Sunil Gupta is working flawlessly for the economic and social prosperity of India. His Linkedin and twitter handles are @cadrsunilgupta
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