Critical Evaluation of Land Acquisition Bill 2013
- Urgency Clause – The clause of urgency is most controversial because any provision related to rehabilitation, Social Impact Study (SIA) etc. is not necessary in case of urgency or emergency situation such as national security or calamity or any other as approved by Parliament.
- Rehabilitation & Resettlement (R&R) – the govt can acquire any number of lands for temporary purpose and there is no need of R&R in case of temporary acquirement of land.
- Minimum Acquire Limit (on private purchase) – The Land Acquisition Bill states that provisions of R&R are not discretionary on every purchase but subjected to a threshold limit specially in case of Private purchase is left on discretion of states; there is chance of misuse by acquisition of land in parts (if limit is 100 acre then required 500 acre can be purchased in 5 parts) to avoid R&R provisions.
- Also minimum acquisition of irrigated multi crop land and net sown area is totally dependent on discretion of states.
- Delay in Acquisition – After notification, it almost takes 3 yrs for acquisition of land which is a threat of impediment in progress of new projects and led to reduction in growth prospective of country. The some basic development projects such as bus stand/stops, toilets etc. can be delayed or ignored due to cumbersome process of land acquisition.
- The concern of land owners is taken but indirectly affected families or tenants have given very less consideration in the present bill.
- The Rehabilitation may have to wait till completion of project especially for marginalize workers or affected families and if given before it then project cost will become a matter of concern for investors.
- Due to some harsh provisions such as 70% or 80% consent of people and compensation of 2-4 times of Market Value, foreign investors can refuse to build up large projects especially in area of real estate.
- The urgency clause shall be accompanied by clause of R&R because natural calamities such as flood, draught etc. are most frequent in some states and requirement of R&R provisions are considerably more at time of calamities (especially for affected families).
- Minimum acquire limit shall be given because if any state fix it as 500 acres then almost 70% of acquisition shall be remained immune from R&R provisions.
- Concerns of affected families or labour or tenants:-
- In case of temporary acquisition, govt shall provide opportunity to work for dependent families other than owner such as labour etc.
- Also for any number of acquisition by private purchase, affected families shall be given due compensation or work opportunity to make this law pro poor rather than pro rich.