DIPP to Pitch for Sim­pli­fi­ca­tion of Land Ac­qui­si­tion Act

The Economic Times - - Economy - DILASHA SETH

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.

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