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Ordinance to amend land law soon after Jharkhand, J&K polls

Shishir Sinha New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

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The Government plans to introduce an ordinance to bring about amendments in the Land Act. This is likely after Assembly elections in Jharkhand and Jammu & Kashmir are over.

Likely amendments include cutting down on the consent process and doing away with the mandatory preparation of the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) Study. The the exemption list will also be expanded.

However, the Government may not make any change in the compensation structure.

The amendments are based on the suggestions given by the industry as well as the States. “The draft of amendments is almost ready but now we are waiting for (Assembly) polls to get over, then it can be promulgated,” said a senior government official.

The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act was passed last year by the previous UPA Government and came into effect on January 1 this year.

Prior consent

Since the NDA Government is in minority in the Rajya Sabha, it may not be easy for it to get the amendments passed, and the ordinance route may help it avoid delays.

The existing provisions of the Act prescribe prior consent from 70 per cent of the affected families in the case of Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects. This percentage goes up to 80 per cent if the land is acquired for private projects. The new provisions may reduce the percentage to 50 per cent for PPP projects.

At present, the SIA needs to be completed in six months, which the industry feels delays the process. The Rural Development Ministry has suggested doing away with this clause.

Recently, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said he has no issues with the Law Ministry’s proposal to increase the compensation.

Published on November 16, 2014

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