Raje's land bill hikes compensation

The Rajasthan government has come up with a draft Land Acquisition Bill which proposes higher compensation for owners.

At the same time, it allows strict penalties for those opposing acquisition – a fine of Rs 10,000 to Rs 3 lakh and/or rigorous imprisonment for a period of three to six months.
The government has uploaded the draft of the Bill on various government portals, inviting suggestions from the public till August 26. After making the required changes, it will table it in the next Assembly session.

According to the draft, the government can acquire land for government projects, public private partnership projects and for private companies. In case land is acquired for private companies, prior consent of at least 80 per cent of the landowners would be mandatory.

The Bill also has the provision for giving extra financial aid, other than compensation, for the resettlement and rehabilitation of affected persons. About 10 per cent of compensation amount will be given for rehabilitation if land is acquired for infrastructure.

 In case the land is acquired for the private companies, the Act will ensure rehabilitation aid of 30 per cent of consumption to the landowners along with annuity of Rs 3,000 per month for 20 years or a one-time settlement of Rs 7 lakh per person.

The compensation given to owners is likely to be increased to two and a half times in urban areas, and four times in rural areas.

The price of the land to be acquired will be determined by district collectors on various criteria like minimum land value specified under the Rajasthan Stamp Act, 1998 or on the basis of average sale price of similar type of land in nearby areas.

The draft also says that a private company cannot sell, transfer, gift or lease out such land without the government’s approval.

It also relaxes the provision to conduct a social impact assessment study for core infrastructure projects like roads, power lines, bridges and pipelines.

“There are several projects which get delayed due land acquisition problems. It not only creates problems to people but also increases cost of project several times. Once the new law will come into force, it will address all these problems. The Act will also ensure the interest of the landowners and farmers,” said a senior minister.

The Bill has a provision to constitute a Land Acquisition Authority to acquire land for various development projects in the state.

The authority will be a separate nodal agency. It will be entrusted with powers equivalent to civil court that hears land-related cases.
DH News Service

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