(12th April 2015 – Indian Express) Nine Changes in Land Acquisition Amendment Bill, Social Progress Index
PM is leading the govt’s campaign in support of the Bill to amend the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013 (LARR Act).
Land Acquisition Act of 1894
- Oppressive and exploitative colonial legislation
Present Scenario :
The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha but faced fierce opposition in the Rajya Sabha.
Ordinance lapsed on – April 5 2015.
Nine Changes in Bill
The govt. promulgated new ordinance with nine changes in old ordinance. The 9 changes can be subdivided into 3 categories:
Cosmetic Changes :
- In the crucial Section 10 A , there was an exclusionary clause for ” infrastructure and social infrastructure projects”.
Now the phrase ” social infrastructure” has been dropped.
The word “infrastructure” remains and the exclusion remains.
- In section 24, the word ” account” has been replaced by the words ” designated account”.
- The language of section 87 has been recast, but the requirement of obtaining sanction before a court may take cognisance of an offence is intact.
Ex hortatory Changes :
- Govt. has been told to ensure that only the bare minimum land required for an infrastructure project is acquired.
- Govt. has also been directed to prepare and maintain a record of the wasteland it owns.
- LARR authority that will hear objections to the land acquisition or to the award of compensation has been required to hold its hearing in the district where the land is located.
Substantive Changes :
- The amendment favoring “private hospitals and private educational institutions” has been dropped.
- In the case of land acquisition for industrial corridors, Social Impact Assessment and the ‘ consent’ clause will be dispensed with only if land up to 1 km on either side if the corridor is acquired.
This will complicate matters because two procedures have to be followed in case land up to and beyond one kilometer is acquired.
- Section 31 sub – section (2) clause (h)has been amended to require that the award shall include particulars of mandatory employment to at least one member of each affected family.
This is an improvement upon existing clause (h) and makes explicit what was earlier implicit.
Main Hinderance :
The soul of the LARR Act is Social Impact Assessment
The protection for the landowner (invariably a small landowner) is in obtaining the consent of 70 % or 80% of the affected families.
Government want to get rid of this clause.
Art. Ref. : Across the Aisle: Land acquisition – Nine steps to nirvana – http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/across-the-aisle-land-acquisition-nine-steps-to-nirvana/
Social Progress Index :
To be updated ……. work in progress
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