Land Acquisition Act to be amended

Land Acquisition Act to be amended

With industrialists complaining over increases in the cost of land, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday insinuated that the new Land Acquisition Act would be amended based on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision on the issue.

“We discussed (the Land Acquisition Act) with the states. After I have considered their suggestions I will take them to the prime minister. We will go by his decision,” Gadkari said in an interview to CNBC TV18 in the national capital.

The Land Acquisition Act, which was passed by the previous UPA government and became effective on January 1, aims at ensuring fair compensation to owners when their land is taken for various projects. Considering the Act’s impact on national development, he said that the issue would be resolved before the next Parliament session. “We will come to a conclusion within 20 days before the Parliament session, because this is an issue related to the future development of this country,” Gadkari said, when asked about the timeline of bringing the amendments.

He said that road projects worth Rs 60,000 crore were in limbo due to a host of problems, including delays in the acquisition of land and disputes in the Supreme Court and high courts. For this fiscal year, the Road Ministry set a target of awarding projects spanning 7,000 km under the build, own, operate (BOT) and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) models.

The ministry in the financial year 2013-2014, however, had set a target of 9,000 km, but ended up awarding less than 2,000 km due to delays in acquiring land.

Earlier, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had raised red flags over the law.

 According to its provisions, land owners should get up to four times the market value in rural areas and twice in urban areas.

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