Land Acquisition Act has come into force, says Jairam Ramesh

New Delhi, Jan.1: Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday announced that the new Land Acquisition Act has come into force and will provide just and fair compensation to farmers will.

The government says the bill, which will replace a muddled law dating back to the 19th century, will help speed up industrial investment by making the rules clearer.

Speaking to media in here today, Ramesh said the new law will guide all land acquisitions by federal or provincial governments, bringing in stricter norms and increasing landowners’ compensation significantly.

“It has been notified from today. It has been printed in the gazette. And from today, this new Land Acquisition Bill will be effective. Along with this, every law is associated with some rules. There is explanation of some provisions in those rules. These rules have also been printed in the gazette,” he said.

Parliament had approved the bill in August last year to boost farmers’ rights, which were opposed by other businesses who said the new law would thwart efforts to revive the floundering economy.

The new law proposes that farmers and landowners be paid up to four times the market value for land acquired in rural areas and two times the market value in urban areas.

“Every state has the right to make its own Land Acquisition Bill. But if there is any contradiction with that of the government’s bill will be considered favourable. This means that every state government cannot form something that is below the provisions of the federal government but can make it higher,” he said.

Giving an insight about the retrospective provision in the new Land Act, the rural development minister said the clause would be applicable only in circumstances where the acquisition has begun but compensation amount was not announced.

The retrospective clause would also be applicable in cases where land acquisition had begun under the old law and five years had passed. Also in those cases, where the compensation amount was not announced or where a majority of farmers were not paid the compensation money.

Ramesh said the new law would implement in Maoist areas and would help in reducing the threat.

“If this law is enacted with honesty in Maoists affected areas, then the influence of the Maoists will definitely reduce in those areas,” he said.

The rules of historic legislation replacing a 119-year-old act were approved by the Law Ministry added Ramesh.

Another distinctive feature of the act was that consent of 80 percent of land owners was needed for acquiring land for private projects and of 70 percent landowners for public-private projects. (ANI)