Land acquisition bill, ecstatic in few quarters and abhorred in others, is an intricate piece of enactment. The government has put forward a defined document explaining the doctrine of the bill to owners about land acquisition and reimbursement in India. All in all it is a procedure through which state acquire private land for the purpose of growth & development and provide remuneration to the impacted land owners.
Until 2013, all the land possession used to be taken up the ancient land bill of 1984. But the wake of 2013 was the detrimental force to the progress of farmers and sought to repair & implement the stated procedures. The shortcoming of the act is to boost the manufacturing industry by refurbishing the act, later being introduced in the LokSabha. The government hopes for fair compensation and translucency in the acquired of owned lands for establishing an advanced India.
Why do we need a new Bill?
The consensus opinion among the social and political spectrum is that the 1894 Bill has many flaws to it which are:
- Forced acquisition: By the 1894 Bill once any authority had any intention to acquire a private plot, then they had go the distance about it without keeping in mind the agony or compensation of the affected .
- No Safeguard: There isn’t any adequate judiciary system which could stop the process of acquisition or even give the sufferer some relief.
- Silent on resettlement and rehabilitation of those displaced: There are no contingency in 1894 bill relating remuneration of the owner
- Urgency clause: The clause explains what contributes to an urgent need and leaves it to circumspection of the authority. Due to which there is a complete loss for the owner without him/her having a token satisfaction of the rights under the act.
- Low rates of compensation: The rate paid for the plot looted are so notoriously outdated and hence not even close to the actual market rates for fair compensation.
- Litigation: Litigation on the basis of mentioned above has results in stalling of legitimate magnanimous projects.
- Observation by Supreme Court: The bill has been observed as a fraud without any better of the common man in the eyes of the court.
What are the highlights of the new bill?
- Compensation: Due to unfair nature of circle rate, the Bill proposes of a compensation of twice the market value in urban are and four times the market value in rural area.
- R&R: First of its kind that connects land acquisition and resettlement & rehabilitation that comes with it. Five chapters and to schedules have been dedicated to it brief on this process. Especially the second schedule contains the profits (such as housing, jobs, annuities, etc.) that shall happen after the payment of cash.
- Retrospective Operation: To attend to past injustice the Bill even applies to cases where no land compensation been made. Also land which has been pulled off five years ago but no possession or reward has taken place then the land acquisition comes under the Bill and goes through all the required procedure.
- Multiple checks and balances: A well detailed and meaningful process has been put to place before any land acquisition procedures. Monitoring organization at both rural and urban level to make sure R&R demands are meeting its end.
- Safeguard against displacement: The law ensures that no land displacement can take place until or unless all the proceedings have taken place regarding the compensation and new site rehabilitation. The Third Schedule lists down developmental amenities that have to be provided to those that have been displaced from their private land.
- Compensation for livelihood loser: Adding to those who are losing their land, the Bill even provides compensation to those who were completely dependent on the land that was acquired.
- Consent: In cases of PPP projects are involved then for private corporates, the Bill directs you to have the permission of no less than 70% from the owner of the land. This is to ensure there are no unfair practices and going against the owners will.
- Caps on acquisition of multi-crop and agricultural land: To fortify agricultural fields and arbitrary acquisition, the Bill directs state to ensure a bar to the acre of agricultural land that can be acquired.
- Return of unutilized land: In a case if the land goes unused after displacement, the Bill requires the state to handover the land to the previous owners or to the State Land Bank.
- Exemption from income tax and stamp duty: There shall be no income tax or stamp tax imposed on the compensation acquired by the owner after the acquisition by the new Bill.
- Share in appreciated land value: 40% of the profit shall be given to the original owners, if after acquisition the plot is sold off to another group.
1 January 2014 -LARR Act, 2013 comes into existence revoking the Land Acquisition Act,1984.
31 December 2014-LARR (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014 propagated.
24 February 2015 - LARR (Amendment) Bill, 2015 introduced in LokSabha.
10 March 2015 -LARR (Amendment) Bill, 2015 passed in LokSabha with modification but could not be passed by the RajyaSabha and remains pending.
3 April 2015 -LARR (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015 incorporating the modification made by the LokSabhapropagated.
10 April 2015 - PIL filed in Supreme Court to declare LARR (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015 as “unconstitutional” and ultra vires of the Constitution and as a “fruitful exercise of capabilities”
13 April 2015 -Supreme Court issues notice in the PIL but refuses to stay the LARR (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015.
11 May 2015 -LARR (Amendment) Second Bill, 2015 introduced in the LokSabha.
13 May 2015 -LARR (Amendment) Second Bill, 2015 referred to the Joint Committee of Parliament.
30 May 2015 -LARR (Amendment) Second Ordinance, 2015 propagated.
Negatives of the Land Bill 2015
- Misuses the principle of ‘public purpose’: The Bill fails to take up an ethical definition of “public purpose” which determines a project is beneficial & lifts the community or not. The obscurity in the category of national defense, affordable housing and industrial boom, without the requisite details has allowed an opening for misuse of public purposes.
- Violates International human rights law, guidelines and principles :The LARR diminishes quite a few international human rights which includes land an integral part of life for sustenance and livelihood for land independent population like pastoralists, workers, etc. The basic idea of democracy is that common man should decide what directly affects his life and the Bill obliterates any kind of need for consent in the categories mentioned above.
- Will not promote growth in GDP: Several reports claim that land acquisition could contribute to the loss of GDP because of an increase on rural/urban poverty. The financial cost of displacement to the nation is a lot higher than the foresighted benefits of exclusionary development.