Maharashtra Government Statement is Misleading While Advocating Exemption from LARR Act, 2013
CAG Performance Audits of SEZs Imply Large Scale Land Grab for Profit by Corporations, Land Ordinance will Continue this Legacy
Eminent Citizens Write to President Requesting Him to Rescind Anti People Land Ordinance
Resistance to Continue, Protests During the Budget Session
New Delhi, January 7 : Maharashtra Chief Minister Shri Devendra Fadnavis has demanded that Maharashtra Industrial Development Act (MIDC) be exempted from the applications of the provisions of the the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LAAR) Act, 2013 as reported in the newspapers today. The reasons cited are not only misleading but also far from the truth on many count. One of the key factors have been mentioned as the land required for the implementation of the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor and that MIDC Act provides better compensation and R&R to farmers and PAPs and mostly through consent.
We would like to point out that Maharashtra Government is misleading the public on the following points :
1. Compulsory Acquisition under MIDC Act : Section 32 of the MIDC Act mandates that whenever government needs land for furtherance of the objectives of this Act or for the purpose of development then a notification shall be issued and before that a show cause notice will be issued to the farmers, why their land should not be acquired. Does this sound like seeking consent ? It needs to be noticed that 9715 families of 69 villages in Maangaon, Roha and Tala Talukas have received notifications for acquisition of a total of 24,207 acres of land for Dighi Industrial Area as part of DMIC corridor under MIDC Act. Armers have been protesting there and State government from time to time have been saying that they will exempt these villages from Dighi industrial area but no de-notification notice has been issued yet.
2. Compensation, R&R to Farmers and PAPs : MIDC Act has no provision for the R&R to PAPs and compensates only the land owners. MIDC refers to the definition of the land and affected persons in 1894 Act, which was very limited and didn’t include livelihood losers when land was acquired for the development projects. LARR provides for compensation and R&R benefits to a much bigger group of PAPs.
3. Lack of Land for Projects : There is no shortage of available land in the State. Maharashtra government has no record of percentage land utilised and unutilised with MIDC, even though in the past fifty years it has acquired more than 13 lakh acres of land. The provision of MIDC Act is more draconian than Land Acquisition Act, 1894, which leaves little scope for the consent of the affected population. Maharashtra government by its own admission has a land bank of 80,000 Hectares with it.
In Aurangabad and nearby areas there too a large chunk of land under the threat of acquisition for DMIC. However, in 2000 the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) had acquired 902 hectares of land, but to what purpose. Those affected by the ‘Jaikwadi’ dam as well as Paithan MIDC have neither been allotted land in the Command area nor have they received employment inspite of repeated assurances. Only 50% of the factories in the MIDC phase-I are operational and apparently they await for the right time to sell those lands for real estate. The government is keen on acquiring 10,000 hectares of land belonging to 24 villages to develop the Shendre – Bidkin Industrial Zone under MIDC. City and Industrial Development Corporation or CIDCO has already made plans to acquire 15,000 hectares of land belonging to 28 villages.
4. Farmers Suicide in Maharashtra : It would do good, if Mr. Fadnavis showed some concerns for the farmers in his home state. With a land bank of 80,000 Hectares, he is only feeding to the profit hungry Corporations but doing nothing for the farmers, and already Project Affected Persons due to various irrigation projects like Waang Marathwadi, Jaikwadi, or Lavasa Hill City project or other development projects and SEZs. It needs to be mentioned that at least 3,146 farmers committed suicide in Maharashtra in 2013 as per the National Crime Record Bureau. Since, 1995, nearly 60,750 have committed suicide and on an average, 3,685 farmers in the state took their lives every year between 2004 to 2013. What has Mr. Fadnavis done for farmers and the families of killed farmers ?
CAG Audit Report on SEZs Exposes the Corporate Land Grab and False Claims of the Government on Employment Generation and Development
False Claims of Employment Generation and Development : The claims of the development and employment generation are exposed not only for the Maharashtra government but for also the Union government, as pointed out in the CAG report on the performance of the SEZs. CAG has said that land grab was the only motive behind the SEZs development and Corporates were given favour in the name of development. Out of 45635.63 ha of land notified in the country for SEZ purposes, operations commenced in only 28488.49 ha (62.42 %) of land. In addition, we noted a trend wherein developers approached the government for allotment/purchase of vast areas of land in the name of SEZ. In terms of area of land, out of 39245.56 ha of land notified in the six States 3,5402.22ha (14%) of land was denotified and diverted for commercial purposes in several cases. Many tracts of these lands were acquired invoking the ‘public purpose’ clause. Thus land acquired was not serving the objectives of the SEZ Act.
In four States (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and West Bengal), 11 developers/units had raised 6309.53 crore of loan through mortgaging SEZ lands. Out of which, three developers/units had utilized the loan amount (2211.48 crore i.e. 35 per cent of 6309.53 crore) for the purposes other than the development of SEZ, as there was no economic activity in the SEZs concerned. CAG further notes that on various other counts SEZs failed to achieve their stated objectives. Of 152 SEZs analysed, there was a deficit of 65.95% to 96.58% in employment generation, for investment 23.98% to 74.92 %, for export 46.16 to 93.81%.
The CAG report only confirms what we have been saying about the Union government continued push in facilitating land grab by the corporations for large scale profit and nothing else. As per the available data from the Union Budget, 5.32 Lakh Crore (roughly three times the supposed loss in 2G scam), of corporate tax was forgone. What is the Union government doing for the farmers ?
Eminent Citizens write to President, Prime Minister, Vice President and Speaker, Lok Sabha
17 eminent citizens led by Justice (Retd) Rajinder Sachar, Harsh Mander, Aruna Roy, V Mohini Giri, Shanti Bhushan Vandana Shiva and others wrote to the President with Copy to PM, Vice President, Speaker Lok Sabh and urged that “.. as the custodians of our Constitution of India, we urgently appeal to you to rethink and reject these Ordinances, and advise the government to table the contemplated amendments to LAA 2013 in the forthcoming session of Parliament, so that people’s representatives will be able to democratically discuss the issues involved.”
They further added that the LARR 2013 was a progressive legislation which, without being against industries and projects, from public to private, gave farmers and land-losers a measure of control over their lives. It took cognizance of the fact that time has come to protect prime agricultural land and minimise displacement. The British legacy had to be left behind. The current Ordinance negates or dilutes what has been achieved by years of sustained efforts by people and initiative by pro-people politicians to get LARR 2013 enacted.
Resistance to Continue, Protests During the Budget Session
We reiterate that the people’s movements would not allow this corporate design of the government to succeed and any bid to forcibly acquire land will face stiff resistance across the country. We will challenge every move of the government to hand over precious resources to the Corporate Houses in the name of “Make in India” initiative. This initiative is solely aimed at naked loot and promoting Crony Capitalism in the country. Our affiliate members in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and other states have already lodged their protest rejecting the ordinance. We will continue to expose the government and Corporate loot and mobilise all progressive forces along with the people’s movements during the Budget Session.
Medha Patkar – Narmada Bachao Andolan and the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM); Prafulla Samantara – Lok Shakti Abhiyan & Lingraj Azad – Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti, NAPM, Odisha; Dr. Sunilam, Aradhna Bhargava – Kisan Sangharsh Samiti & Meera – Narmada Bachao Andolan, NAPM, MP; Suniti SR, Suhas Kolhekar, Prasad Bagwe – NAPM, Maharashtra; Gabriel Dietrich, Geetha Ramakrishnan – Unorganised Sector Workers Federation, NAPM, TN; C R Neelkandan – NAPM Kerala; P Chennaiah & Ramakrishnan Raju – NAPM Andhra Pradesh, Arundhati Dhuru, Richa Singh – NAPM, UP; Sister Celia – Domestic Workers Union & Rukmini V P, Garment Labour Union, NAPM, Karnataka; Vimal Bhai – Matu Jan sangathan & Jabar Singh, NAPM, Uttarakhand; Anand Mazgaonkar, Krishnakant – Paryavaran Suraksh Samiti, NAPM Gujarat; Kamayani Swami, Ashish Ranjan – Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan & Mahendra Yadav – Kosi Navnirman Manch, NAPM Bihar; Faisal Khan, Khudai Khidmatgar, NAPM Haryana; Kailash Meena, NAPM Rajasthan; Amitava Mitra & Sujato Bhadra, NAPM West Bengal; B S Rawat – Jan Sangharsh Vahini & Rajendra Ravi, Madhuresh Kumar and Kanika Sharma – NAPM, Delhi
For details contact : Madhuresh Kumar 9818905316 | email : firstname.lastname@example.org