Land for industry may fetch six times more
New Delhi: The government on Friday suggested offering farmers as much as six times the price of their land when acquired for industrial use. A draft of the law, which may help fasttrack industrialisation, has been released.
The draft Land Acquisition Bill also proposes at least 80% of owners must consent to such acquisitions, which may calm widespread protests against the government’s arbitrary takeover of land for industry at below-market rates.
Several multi-billion dollar projects have been held up as farmers violently oppose the takeover and analysts have said the issue could stutter plans to accelerate India’s economic growth to double-digits, as in China.
Such protests have halted the construction of Posco’s $12 billion steel mill in Orissa and held up the building of tens of thousands of apartments outside New Delhi that are needed to house a rapidly growing urban population, among others.
The current land acquisition law was framed over a century ago and allows the government to take over land for a “public purpose” without compensation.
“This draft bill seeks to balance the need for facilitating land acquisition for various public purposes, including infrastructure development, industrialisation and urbanisation while at the same time meaningfully addressing the concerns of farmers and those whose livelihoods are dependent on the land being acquired,” a statement issued by the government said.