The Hindu, Aug 13 2014, Jaipur: Pushing through major reforms in the labour laws, the Rajasthan government has now come up with a draft Land Acquisition Bill that seeks to make the process of acquiring land easier but enhances the quantum of compensation for the owners. Project-affected persons can take resettlement and rehabilitation amount on a monthly basis as well.
There is no provision of Social Impact Assessment (SIA) in the proposed law and the percentage of consent of landowners has been reduced if the land is acquired for public private partnership projects, and totally done away with for core infrastructure projects like roads, pipelines, railways, communication, ports, airports and bridges.
On the other hand, the Rajasthan Land Acquisition Bill, 2014 seeks to increase the quantum of compensation to the owners and proposes a ceiling on the quantum of land that can be acquired by a single project promoter.
The proposed law will apply when the State government acquires land for public-private partnership where the ownership of the land continues to vest with the Sate and for private companies for public purpose.
In the case of acquisition of private companies, the prior consent of at least 80 per cent of the landowners and in the case of public private partnership projects excluding infrastructure projects, the prior consent of at least 60 per cent of the owners would be required.
In case the land to be acquired is situated within a radius of 5 kms from the end of urban agglomeration or municipal limits, the compensation would range between 1.25 to 2.5 times of the land value, in the case where land is barren, or waste land compensation will be 2.25 to 4.5 times the market value. If the land is classified as irrigated or doubled cropped in the revenue records, the compensation will be 2.5 to 4.5 times the market value. In addition, an interest of 12 per cent per annum would also be paid to the owner for the period between the official notification for acquisition and actual taking over of the land.
Importantly, the compensation would have to be awarded within two years of the notification failing with the entire proceeding for the acquisition shall lapse.
The Bill, which has been put on the government website for inviting suggestions, also provides for a lump sum amount equal to 10 per cent of the compensation as resettlement and rehabilitation cost to the project-affected persons where land is acquired by the government for creating core infrastructure. Where the land is acquired by the government for any other purpose except for a private company, the lump sum amount would be 30 per cent of the compensation.
But where the acquisition process displaces an entire village or a number of villages, the endeavour would be resettle such village or villages at an alternative land, preferably in command area of a river or a canal, or on land which is as near as possible and feasible to the original village of the project affected persons.
More interestingly, where the land is acquired for a private company, the project affected persons shall have the option either to receive a lump sum amount equal to 30 per cent of the compensation amount as resettlement and rehabilitation cost or to receive an annuity of Rs. 3,000 per month for 20 years or a one-time settlement of Rs. 7.5 lakh per person.