Objects to clause on farm land
FICCI has taken exception to a clause in the proposed Land Acquisition Bill that envisages that agricultural land will not be freely available for acquisition.
“Such restrictions on the use of agricultural land for industrial use would further increase the inter-State and intra-State imbalances,” said FICCI President R.V. Kanoria in a letter to the Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.
The issues with the draft Land Acquisition Bill, which have created controversies right from the beginning, refuse to die down.
The letter suggests that such a restriction would deny “the people of areas (States which have large tracts of agricultural lands, such as Punjab and Haryana) better opportunities by not participating in the industrial growth of the country.”
Kanoria also wants the Government to do away with rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) provisions for private purchase of land and said it “defies economic logic.”
Further, even for acquisitions for ‘public purpose’ Kanoria wants the R&R provisions to be diluted. The new requirements, he said in the letter, are on the higher side.
Further, his letter states that the Bill should come into effect only prospectively. He says that the provision in the Bill where land has been acquired and compensation has not been paid till six months, the notification under the old law would be considered as lapsed.
This is however not in accordance with the older law, which allows for compensation to be paid within two years.
He also suggests that the cut-off date, after which the new Bill will come into force, should be extended.
Kanoria’s letter recommended that the Government facilitate acquisition of land for private entities to ensure that there are no hindrances of large projects, such as steel, cement and others.
According to the current draft the Government will not be involved in acquiring land for private projects, unless they come under the category of “public purpose.” For private projects the concerned party has to buy land on its own.