Draft law on land acquisition gives farmer 20% of rise in land value, may carry employment clause

NEW DELHI: Rocked by protests against states acquiring land across the country, the government is trying to rewrite the rules to give farmers who have lost their property a way to realise part of the appreciation in value of the farmland after it is bought and developed.

These rules could find their way into the new land acquisition law, which Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said would be tabled in the monsoon session of Parliament starting August 1. Farmers will get 20% of the appreciation in the value of land for up to 10 years after selling it, based on the price of transactions done subsequently. This proposal, which is included in the new draft of the land acquisition bill being deliberated by the ministry of rural development under Jairam Ramesh, has not gone down well with property developers.

“Sharing 20% of the appreciation in value will not work because even if one farmer is not satisfied, he can go to court and possibly stall the project,” said Anil Sharma, chairman and managing director, Amrapali Group , a property developer. State governments, most recently in Uttar Pradesh, have used ’eminent domain’ powers vested in the current law to buy land cheap and then sell it to property developers at vastly inflated rates.

Law may carry employment clause
The new draft law will also suggest that people displaced by acquisition should be employed in projects coming up on their land. It will lay down that at least 80% of the people who stand to lose their land and livelihood must first agree to the acquisition, whether it is by the government or private entities.

Most of the contents of the new draft bill are in line with the recommendations of Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC). The ministry is also likely to side with the NAC’s suggestion that the government should continue to play a dominant role in land acquisition for all kinds of projects.

( Economic Times)



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