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Ria Pant

B.tech (CSE-1st yr)

Land Sakes!
Ever since its mammoth victory in the Lok Sabha, it is perhaps for the first time that BJP-led
NDA alliance has been served with hot potatoes. The recently introduced Land Acquisition Bill
has attracted strong flak not only from the opposition but also from the media, social activists as
well as the affected group Farmers. To understand why the issue is so critical for a country like
India where 56.6 percentage of population is still dependent on agriculture (DISTRIBUTION of
MAIN WORKED BY DIFFERENT INDUSTRIAL CATEGORIES, INDIA 2001), it is
necessary to have an insight into the recently proposed changes in land bill and the aftermath.
Land Acquisition in India refers to the process of land acquisition by the central or state
government of India for various infrastructure and economic growth initiatives and development.
It was only in 2011 that a bill was introduced in Lok Sabha that regulates land acquisition and
provides laid down rules for granting compensation, rehabilitation and resettlement to the
affected persons in India thereby ending the 120-year-old law enacted during British rule- Land
Acquisition Act. The bill was enacted in 2013 and came to be known as Right to Fair
Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
(LARR Act 2013).
Basically the recently introduced ordinance is different from LARR Act 2013 in the following
ways1. Removal of the social impact assessment for many projects - The LARR Act 2013
requires that a Social Impact Assessment be conducted to identify affected families and
calculate the social impact when land is acquired.
2. Removing the consent clause - The LARR Act 2013 requires that the consent of 80% of
land owners is obtained for private projects and that the consent of 70% of land owners
be obtained for PPP projects. The Ordinance exempts the five categories mentioned
above from this provision of the Act..
It identifies 5 special categories of land use which will be given the above rightsdefence
rural infrastructure
affordable housing
industrial corridors
infrastructure projects including Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects where the
central government owns the land.
3. Making rehabilitation and resettlement applicable to the 13 Acts under which the
government acquires land like the Coal Bearing Act, and for the railways and
highways - The government tries to placate the opposition with this clause. Till now land

could be acquired under these Acts and there was no uniform central policy of
rehabilitation and resettlement .
Another important change includes that LARR Act 2013 was applicable for the acquisition of
land for private companies, the Ordinance changes this to acquisition for 'private entities'. A
private entity is an entity other than a government entity, and could include a proprietorship,
partnership, company, corporation, non-profit organisation, or other entity under any other law.
The ordinance thus, relates to the growth of industries motto of Narendra Modi. The land
acquisition process has shortened because of no assessment. However what we need to think is
about the farmers. The compensation provided is not enough to serve them lifelong. They
certainly need employment for which they require skills which in turn require training. Hence the
government should come up with new programmes which make them employable. The worst hit
are the landless farmers and the small scale farmers. Having no or little land they donot get
compensated and hence bear the brunt.