Land Acquisition Bill 2015 – The Second Amendment

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When the government brought the original ordinance/land acquisition bill 2015 in the Lok Sabha, it received scathing criticism and strong opposition from various political parties.

The virulent attack on the government by the opposition parties forced it to propose some secondary changes to the Land Acquisition bill 2015 (the LARR Act 2015) to gain the support of some of the dissenting parties.

Land Acquisition Bill 2015

Image Courtesy: By Nandini Velho (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons

Land Acquisition Bill 2015

Below are the changes that were made to the land acquisition bill of 2015.

  1. Social infrastructure was removed from the 5 categories of projects that were exempted from the proviso of getting 80% and 70% consent from the land owners for private and PPP (Private Public Partnership) projects respectively.
  2. To get exemption from SIA it is required to get a notification from the government and before issuing the exemption notification the government has to assess the land being acquired and make sure that it is in agreement with the minimum land required for the project. These notifications are to be issued from project to project basis.
  3. Restrictions on acquisition of irrigated multi-crop lands were re-imposed in the land acquisition bill 2015 but projects can get exemption from these restrictions if the government issues an exemption notification to this regard. But before issuing the notification the government has to see that land being sought for acquisition doesn’t measure more than the minimum land required for the project.
  4. When prosecuting a government employee for negligence, irregularities and misconduct, a prior sanction from the government would not be required. The employee can be prosecuted under the section 197 of code of criminal procedure.
  5. Regarding hearing of complaints on land acquisition the LARR authority has to conduct the hearing in the district where the land acquisition is taking place. The holding of the hearing can commence only after receiving a reference from the collector and a notice regarding the reference has to be notified to all the concerned parties.
  6. Under the new changes the government has to make a thorough survey of all the wastelands in the country and detailed records of all types of wastelands have to be kept.
  7. Land acquisition for educational institutions & private hospitals which was included in the original Land Acquisition bill, 2015 is excluded from the bill.

So these were the major changes that were made to the original ordinance/LARR Act 2015. These changes helped the government in winning over much needed support from different quarters, which ultimately paved the way for the passing of the bill in the Lok Sabha. Now the bill is stuck in the upper house where the NDA has fewer seats and as a result it will be much more difficult to pass the bill in Rajya Sabha, where the Congress Party and its allies are opposing the bill even after the necessary changes. Despite the opposition, the BJP and especially PM Narendra Modi are adamant that they would not make any further changes to this crucial Land Acquisition Bill 2015.

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The articles are written by the staff of NationalViews
  • Hemen Parekh

    MAKE OPPOSITION IRRELEVANT

    As per a news report in Hindustan Times ( 17 Feb 2016 ) , thousands of villagers of Khalapur ( Maharashtra ) ,

    * have formed a company

    * transferred 3500 hectares of their land to this company

    * company has signed an MOU with Maharashtra State for development of this land

    * allowed State to acquire 40 % of the land, without any monetary compensation

    * villagers will get to develop balance 60 % land

    * for this 60 % , villagers will be allowed an FSI of 1.7 in lieu of the existing FSI of 0.1 , to develop the township

    # How does CIDCO ( nodal agency for Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area ) benefit ?

    * of the 40 % land acquired , CIDCO will utilize 25 % for Infrastructure Development and rest for Commercial

    development

    # How do Villagers benefit ?

    * Once developed , the rates of the real estate in the area are expected to shoot up by at least 5 times ,

    causing good profit for the villagers

    # Could villagers have benefitted much more ?

    * Without doubt they would have gained hugely if they had bargained on the basis of the following email that

    I had sent to Shri Nitin Gadkariji on 23 March, 2015 :

    { Dear Nitinji,

    Farmers are opposing the Land Acquisition Bill for the following reasons :

    * Low / Inadequate compensation

    * Once land is sold , not being able to benefit from the appreciation of land value , when the project comes up

    * Private parties bought their land at low price and then sold it ( mostly to private builders ) for a whooping profit

    I think there is a simple solution to the concerns expressed by the farmers . Please consider the following :

    * Each project will be tied to a specific SPV , created for that purpose only

    * In the first instance , affected farmers will create a ” Cooperative Society ”

    * Co-operative Society will issue shares to each land-donor farmer , in proportion to the QUANTITY / VALUE of

    the land donated by him

    * In turn , Co-operative Society will receive shares in the SPV , equal to the value of the land + a cash

    compensation equal to 4 times the value of the land

    * Farmer’s shares of Cooperative Society cannot be sold in open market before 5 years but can be gifted to wife /

    Children

    * Shares of Cooperative Society in the SPV itself cannot be sold for next 10 years

    * The ” Cash-Value Compensation ” received by the Co-operative Society ( ie 4 times the land value ), will be

    deployed as follows :

    * To be immediately paid in cash to the farmers………… 2 times

    * To be deposited in the Jan-Dhan Account of each farmer as FIXED DEPOSIT ( with 10 @ interest )….2 times

    Dear Gadkariji ,

    My proposal will ensure :

    * Immediate attractive compensation to farmers

    * Recurring income from FD in Jan Dhan account ( for a sustained livelihood )

    * Continued sense of ” Ownership ” in the SPV / Project , which will facilitate QUICK implementation without

    resistance

    * Willing farmers themselves canvassing / convincing ” Reluctant ” farmers

    * No fear of private parties benefiting by appreciation of land value

    * A sense of ” Enlarged Participation ” thru Co-operative Society representing them on the Board of Directors of

    SPV

    * Board Representation enabling farmers to ensure that honest decisions are being taken

    PLEASE , GIVE THIS SUGGESTION A CONSIDERATION }

    If all States follow this model , I think opposition to Land Acquisition Bill in Rajyasabha , will become irrelevant !

    After all , this is a WIN WIN solution for both, the Farmers and for the States

    If the Opposition Parties want to win future elections ( whether at Centre or in States ) , they should champion the

    cause of the farmers by helping them form FARMERS CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETIES , to carry out COLLECTIVE

    BARGAINING with the State Governments / Industries !

    ——————————————————————————————————————————–

    hemenparekh.in / blogs

    19 Feb 2016

  • Hemen Parekh

    MAKE OPPOSITION IRRELEVANT

    As per a news report in Hindustan Times ( 17 Feb 2016 ) , thousands of villagers of Khalapur ( Maharashtra ) ,

    * have formed a company

    * transferred 3500 hectares of their land to this company

    * company has signed an MOU with Maharashtra State for development of this land

    * allowed State to acquire 40 % of the land, without any monetary compensation

    * villagers will get to develop balance 60 % land

    * for this 60 % , villagers will be allowed an FSI of 1.7 in lieu of the existing FSI of 0.1 , to develop the township

    # How does CIDCO ( nodal agency for Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area ) benefit ?

    * of the 40 % land acquired , CIDCO will utilize 25 % for Infrastructure Development and rest for Commercial

    development

    # How do Villagers benefit ?

    * Once developed , the rates of the real estate in the area are expected to shoot up by at least 5 times ,

    causing good profit for the villagers

    # Could villagers have benefitted much more ?

    * Without doubt they would have gained hugely if they had bargained on the basis of the following email that

    I had sent to Shri Nitin Gadkariji on 23 March, 2015 :

    { Dear Nitinji,

    Farmers are opposing the Land Acquisition Bill for the following reasons :

    * Low / Inadequate compensation

    * Once land is sold , not being able to benefit from the appreciation of land value , when the project comes up

    * Private parties bought their land at low price and then sold it ( mostly to private builders ) for a whooping profit

    I think there is a simple solution to the concerns expressed by the farmers . Please consider the following :

    * Each project will be tied to a specific SPV , created for that purpose only

    * In the first instance , affected farmers will create a ” Cooperative Society ”

    * Co-operative Society will issue shares to each land-donor farmer , in proportion to the QUANTITY / VALUE of

    the land donated by him

    * In turn , Co-operative Society will receive shares in the SPV , equal to the value of the land + a cash

    compensation equal to 4 times the value of the land

    * Farmer’s shares of Cooperative Society cannot be sold in open market before 5 years but can be gifted to wife /

    Children

    * Shares of Cooperative Society in the SPV itself cannot be sold for next 10 years

    * The ” Cash-Value Compensation ” received by the Co-operative Society ( ie 4 times the land value ), will be

    deployed as follows :

    * To be immediately paid in cash to the farmers………… 2 times

    * To be deposited in the Jan-Dhan Account of each farmer as FIXED DEPOSIT ( with 10 @ interest )….2 times

    Dear Gadkariji ,

    My proposal will ensure :

    * Immediate attractive compensation to farmers

    * Recurring income from FD in Jan Dhan account ( for a sustained livelihood )

    * Continued sense of ” Ownership ” in the SPV / Project , which will facilitate QUICK implementation without

    resistance

    * Willing farmers themselves canvassing / convincing ” Reluctant ” farmers

    * No fear of private parties benefiting by appreciation of land value

    * A sense of ” Enlarged Participation ” thru Co-operative Society representing them on the Board of Directors of

    SPV

    * Board Representation enabling farmers to ensure that honest decisions are being taken

    PLEASE , GIVE THIS SUGGESTION A CONSIDERATION }

    If all States follow this model , I think opposition to Land Acquisition Bill in Rajyasabha , will become irrelevant !

    After all , this is a WIN WIN solution for both, the Farmers and for the States

    If the Opposition Parties want to win future elections ( whether at Centre or in States ) , they should champion the

    cause of the farmers by helping them form FARMERS CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETIES , to carry out COLLECTIVE

    BARGAINING with the State Governments / Industries !

    ——————————————————————————————————————————–

    hemenparekh.in / blogs

    19 Feb 2016