New bill to ease land hurdles for PPPs

Draft contains list of 29 projects

New bill to ease land hurdles for PPPs

The proposed Land Acquisition Bill aims to remove the hurdles in acquisition of land for the infrastructure projects built for public.

The draft bill, sent to 12 ministries for their opinion, says the government can acquire land for public private partnership (PPP) projects with the consent of 67 per cent of landowners in the areas but it should have a majority stake in the project.

The government can also help the companies involved in such projects. However, if a PPP is driven by private companies, then land acquisition requires consent of at least 80 per cent of landowners. For these projects, the government may not lend any help in acquiring the land.

Infra project list

The draft also contains a list of 29 infrastructure projects identified as projects built for public purpose.

The list of public purpose projects includes roads, bridges, ports, airport, urban public transport, telecommunication towers, hospitals and educational institutes, railway tracks, power projects, oil pipelines, oil/gas/liquefied natural gas storage facilities, water supply pipelines, water treatment plants and irrigation projects.

As the Centre is planning to bring the bill in the winter session, which will start on November 22, it is expected to be sent to the Cabinet soon.

As per the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) Bill cleared by the Group of Ministers headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, if private companies want to develop projects, inclu­ding industries, they need to app­roach landowners and acq­u­­ire the land.  For this too, the gov­ernment will not extend help.

However, industry body FICCI strongly opposed certain clauses in the bill saying that the government should help the private sector to acquire the land even for private projects instead of only PPP projects. In a letter to Pawar, FICCI President R V Kanoria said state governments should help in land acquisition for the private sector.

He said that if the government did not help the private companies, then large projects like steel and cement plants  will face a big hurdle.

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