Friendly Land Acquisition Act in Rajasthan
The Rajasthan government plans for a new Land Acquisition Act which like all other land act will facilitate speedier acquisition of land for industry and government by scrapping measures. The new business friendly law will hike the quantum of compensation to incentivize purchase of land from owners.
According to the officials the law is in the drafting process, will get rid of a provision requiring consent of 70% to 80% of land owners and requirement to carry out the Social Impact Assessment (SIA). Rural Development Minister Gulab Chand Kataria said the draft was sent to the CMO last week and it now in waiting for the Rajasthan CM Vasundhra Raje to take a call on approval.
The relaxation in the current policy will apply to “Core Infrastructure Projects” like roads, power lines, bridges, and pipelines regardless of whether these are being implemented by the public or the private sector. However to incentivize owners to part with their lands, the quantum of compensation will be increased from prevailing rates for urban areas. We have proposed to clarify the urban and rural boundaries more clearly to help identify lands better. The minimum expectation is that owners should get more rates than what is mentioned in the DLC. We have also proposed a ceiling on the quantum of land which can be acquired by one project proponent in both rural and urban areas — for the former it is 1000 hectares and for the latter it is 200 hectares," Kataria said. Industry has been critical of the consent and Social Impact Assessment (SIA) clauses of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, which is currently in force. While the industry has sought reducing the percentage of landowners whose consent is required from 70% to 60% or 50% and limiting the SIAs to only large projects (more than 500 acres in area), a higher quantum of compensation may not be to their liking.
The complete doing away of these contentious measures is also certain to invite criticism from farmers groups and other organizations fighting against forcible land acquisition. The senior official cited earlier said that a draft of the proposed legislation will be uploaded on the government's website soon after the Chief Minister's Office clears it, which could be on Monday or Tuesday.
According to experts, since land is a state subject, the central land acquisition law acts as a model based on which states have to devise their own laws. Rajasthan had first come up with its own state specific land acquisition law in the year 1953 and which was amended several times subsequently. Once the central law was brought into force, it superseded all previous state and central amendments to the law.
Vasundhra Raje, CM, Rajasthan