Forest land bank mooted to speed up infra projects

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

Stating the urgent need to streamline land acquisition and environment clearance for infrastructure projects, the Economic Survey for 2010-11 has recommended setting up a National Forest Land Bank to expedite clearances.

“A National Forest Land Bank, with clear paperwork and titles, could significantly reduce the approval time for forest clearances,” the Survey said.

Infrastructure and development projects have often faced problems over land acquisition, resulting in substantial delays and cost overruns.

“There is a strong case for bringing in parity between the compensation package admissible under the Land Acquisition Act 1984 and that applicable to land acquisition under the National Highways Act 1956 to enable faster acquisition,” the Survey said.

“The price discovery issues could perhaps be circumvented by allowing private parties to bid for supply of land involved. It is also important that the 80 per cent minimum norm for physical acquisition of land before tendering should be strictly enforced through suitable disincentives,” the Survey said.

The Planning Commission's preliminary assessment of infrastructure investment for the Twelfth Five Year Plan (2012-17) is around $1.025 trillion or Rs 40,99,240 crore. It is projected that at least 50 per cent of this investment would have to come from the private sector, against the about 36 per cent anticipated in the Eleventh Plan. The public sector investment would have to increase from Rs 13,11,293 crore in the Eleventh Plan to about Rs 20,49,620 crore in the next plan. Thus, infrastructure financing would be a big challenge in the coming years and would call for innovative ideas and models of financing, the Survey said.

Published on February 25, 2011

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