Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act

  • Replaces the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.
  • The provisions of this Bill shall not apply to 16 existing legislation that provide for land acquisition. viz: The Atomic Energy Act, 1962, The National Highways Act, 1956, SEZ Act, 2005, Land Acquisition (Mines) Act, 1885, The Railways Act, 1989.
  • The provisions of the Bill relating to land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement shall be applicable in cases when the appropriate government acquires land, (a) for its own use and control, (b) to transfer it for the use of private companies for public purpose, and (c) on the request of private companies for immediate use for public purpose. 
  • If private companies acquire more than 100 acres of land in rural and more than 50 acres of land in urban areas R&R package to be provided.
  • Public Purpose: Land acquired for (a) strategic defense purposes & national security, (b) roads, railways, highways, and ports, built by government or public sector enterprises (c) planned development, and (e) residential purposes for the poor and landless. 
  • Public purpose includes other government projects which benefit the public as well as provision of public goods and services by private companies or public private partnerships; these require the consent of 80 % of project affected people. Affected families include those whose livelihood may be affected due to the acquisition, and includes landless labourers and artisans.

A maximum of five per cent of irrigated multi-cropped land may be acquired in a district, with certain conditions. 

Every acquisition requires a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) by an independent body followed by a preliminary notification and a final award by the District Collector. 

In the case of urgency, the Bill proposes that the appropriate government shall acquire the land after 30
days from the date of the issue of the notification (without SIA). This clause may be used only for defense, national security, and conditions arising out of a national calamity. 

The compensation for the land acquired shall based on the higher of (a) the minimum land value, specified in the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 for the registration of sale deeds; and (b) the average sale price of the higher priced 50% of all sale deeds registered in the previous 3 years for similar type of land situated in the vicinity. This amount is further doubled in case of rural areas. The value of the assets (trees, plants, buildings etc) attached to the land being acquired will be added to this amount. This total amount will then be multiplied by two to get the final compensation amount; in case of the urgency clause, this multiplication factor will be 2.75.

The Bill proposes the following authorities;

Administrator; Commissioner for Rehabilitation and Resettlement; Rehabilitation and Resettlement Committee (for acquisition of 100 acres or more of land); National Monitoring Committee for Rehabilitation and Resettlement; and Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Authority (which shall adjudicate all
disputes, with appeal to the High Court).

If an acquired land which is transferred to a person for a consideration, is left unutilised for a period of 10 years from the date it was acquired, it shall be returned to the Land Bank or the appropriate government.

The Bill proposes that in cases where the ownership of an acquired land is sold to any person, without any
development made, 20 per cent of the profit made shall be shared among all the persons from whom the land was acquired.

Source: PRSINDIA 

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