DIPP to Pitch for Simplification of Land Acquisition Act
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) will pitch for simplification of the land acquisition act to facilitate investment and manufacturing in the economy by doing away with the cumbersome rules and procedures in the legislation. Commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman will likely take the matter up with her rural development counterpart Gopinath Munde. DIPP will likely propose doing away with the social impact assessment process in the Act, which is a pre-requisite for publicprivate partnership (PPP) and private entities to acquire land. “Land Act in the present form has stalled industrial activity and suitable amendments are urgently needed to spur manufacturing in the economy. There is no land acquisition taking place. We have taken up the matter with the minister,” said an official. The Act stipulates establishment of a state social impact assessment unit, the office of a commissioner, rehabilitation and resettlement, and a state-level monitoring committee by each state government. The Act has nearly brought acquiring land to a halt, impacting large projects hitting manufacturing growth, which contracted by 0.7% in 2013-14.
Besides, the commerce and industry ministry may also recommend empowering of district collectors of each state to authorise providing of up to 500 acres for small- scale industrial projects. Investment and infrastructure reforms are one of the 10-point agenda that the PM unveiled on Thursday.
Rural development minister Gopinath Munde ruled out scrapping of the land acquisition act, however, called for a need to amend it. Sitharaman has emphasised on bolstering manufacturing in the economy.
Munde was recently reported say- ing the Act’s rules have made the implementation difficult. “There is no question of repealing the Act, as we supported it in Parliament; it is a good law. I have taken up the Act as my first issue with officials in this ministry… I must say I agree with the rates of compensation in the Act,” he said. Any amendment must go through the Parliament.
The Act has made it mandatory to get the consent of at least 70% of the affected people for acquiring land for PPP projects and 80% for acquiring land for private companies. DIPP secretary Amitabh Kant had said in his interview to ET last month that the law had to be redrafted and simplified keeping in mind that a fair price is paid to the farmer.