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Delay in implementing LARR Act to benefit govt agencies?
Times Of India, Jan 10 2014, Hyderabad: Though the new Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) Act, which was passed by the Parliament four months ago, came into force on January 1, owners whose properties are being acquired for development works may have to wait some more to get compensation as per the new legislation. Reason: The revenue department is yet to frame rules and give instructions to district collectors to implement the new Act, pending which land acquisition authorities cannot implement the law.
Land acquisition authorities have been asking collectors and revenue department to clarify whether the new Act has actually come into existence or not and when give compensation if they are supposed to do so as per the new Act.
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) land acquisition wing has put compensation awards on hold with regard to 72 properties being acquired for the Tolichowki flyover. Similarly, compensation to 145 owners, whose properties were being acquired for widening the Kothapet-Nagole stretch, has been put on hold. The road is being widened from the existing 60 feet to 100 feet.
Officials said the LARR Bill was passed by Parliament in August, 2013 and it got the President’s nod in September. There was sufficient time for the revenue department to prepare rules and adopt the new Act. However, officials started work on the new legislation only in the last week of December. There were allegations that implementation of new Act was getting delayed only to benefit government departments so as to get away with payment of meager compensation.
Officials said though the state government does not have any powers to make amendments to the Act, modifications can be made in the rules for effective implementation.
“As per the central act (original act), the owners were given only 45 days to seek enhancement of compensation offered by the government. However, the state government made it 60 days to respond to notices. Interest on compensation was also enhanced from 4% to 6% to 9% to 15% by the state government. The changes were made by the state in 1984,” a land acquisition officer told TOI. If the state government wants, similar modifications could be made now, the officer said.
When contacted, principal secretary (revenue) BR Meena said the Chief Commissioner of Land Administration (CCLA) has been working on rules for effective implementation of the Act. “The exercise will be completed and implementation may begin by the end of this month,” the principal secretary said.
How LARR Act will benefit owners
Under the new Act, property owners will get more compensation, with increase of solatium to 100% from the existing 30%.
Compensation exempted from income tax (authorities deduct 10.3% of the compensation amount as I-T and 20.6% if the owner does not have PAN card or fails to submit it while disbursing the amount).
Compulsory acquisition provisions will be used only for public purpose and not for private sector companies.