Jairam explains benefits from new Land Acquisition Bill

Bhubaneswar: Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh said the recently enacted Land Acquisition Bill has proposed that farmers and landowners would will be paid up to four times the market value for land acquired in rural areas, and two times the market value in urban areas.

Explaining the provisions of the Bill here on Wednesday at a press meet the minister said the consent of 80 per cent of land owners was needed for acquiring land for private projects and of 70 per cent landowners for public-private projects. Public purpose as per the Bill includes sectors like mining, infrastructure, defence, manufacturing zones, ports, roads, and railways built by the government and public sector enterprises, added he.

Ramesh clarified that the market value of the land (determined broadly on the basis of average sales prices of similar properties in the area over the last few years to the advantage of the land loser) is multiplied by two and is then enhanced by 100 per cent, thereby bringing the compensation amount to four times the market value.

In the case of urban areas the multiple is one and not two, so after the addition of the Solatium amount the compensation amount shall be, at least, twice the original market value.

The new Bill, which has been renamed as “The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2012”, has been passed by both Houses of Parliament.

According to Jairam, states have also been empowered by this law to provide benefits and safeguards that go over and above the provisions of this new law.

On the subject of Rehabilitation and Resettlement, Jairam said the new law incorporates entirely new provisions and links them to those related to land acquisition including a new Schedule that lists the various entitlements that accrue. Under this, all affected families are entitled to a house provided they have been residing in an area for 5 years or more and have been displaced. If they chose not to accept the house they are offered a one-time financial grant in lieu of the same.

Similarly, all affected families are given a choice of annuity or employment; If employment is not forthcoming they are entitled to a one time grant of 5 lakh rupees per family.  Alternatively they will provided with an annuity payment of Rs 2000 per month per family for twenty years (this will be adjusted for inflation).