R&R norms of Land Bill will increase cost and admn burden for the industry: FICCI

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NEW DELHI: Industry body Ficci has asked the government to review provisions of rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) in the land bill to make the proposed law viable for the industry in acquiring land.

In its submission on draft Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation & Resettlement Bill 2011 to Department of Land Resources Secretary Vijay Kumar, the chamber said that R&R entitlements envisaged in the Bill would increase cost and administrative burden for the industry.

“Since Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) obligations are to be fulfilled upfront, this is likely to result in time and cost over runs and will make most of the greenfield projects unviable. It is estimated that the new R&R provisions will increase cost manifold and minimum by five times from the current levels,” it said.

The solatium of 100 per cent for project affected people in the Bill is on the higher side and a huge increase from the earlier norm of 30 per cent.

There is no upper limit of R&R expenditure in the Bill, it said adding there is a need to cap the at 30-40 per cent of the land acquisition cost.

“This would enable projects to receive land at viable cost. For instance, in case of Haryana an amount equal to 2 per cent of compensation amount is set apart for creation of community development/infrastructure works,” it said.

It also said that R&R entitlement in case of partial acquisition by government should be limited to only land acquired through government and not be applicable for the entire project area.

The Bill provides the option of annuity, employment or lumpsum payment to the land owners and project affected people.

“This should be provided to the requiring body and not to the project affected families as in the absence of any appropriate skills with the project affected families it would be difficult for the requiring body to offer any gainful employment to the affected families (a case in point could be IT sector),” it added.

It also said that the Bill which provides for R&R entitlements to livelihood losers is difficult to implement on account of difficulty in identification of bonafide livelihood losers and lack of any such official records.

In addition, Ficci has also has submitted that requirement of consent of 80 per cent of the project affected families is “indeed very high and needs to be lowered down to 51 per cent”.

To obtain consent of 80 per cent of project affected people would be practically impossible, it said.

On the issues of determination of land value, it said that the government could consider evaluation by an independent body.

(PTI)

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