Union Cabinet approves ordinance to amend Land Acquisition Act, 2013
Union Cabinet has approved a proposal to take the ordinance route to amend the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.
It seeks to speed up developmental and security related projects without compromising on the benefits/compensation given to the farmers under parent Act.
This Union Cabinet meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- Consent clause and Social Impact Assessment (SIA): This amendment ordinance relaxes the requirements of consent and SIA survey clause from parent Act for projects in five areas namely- national security and defence, rural infrastructure and electrification, affordable housing for the poor, development of industrial corridors and infrastructure and social infrastructure including PPPs in which ownership rests with the government. In this regard multi-crop irrigated land can also be acquired for these purposes.
- Brings 13 exempted Acts under it: It brings all those exempted 13 Acts of parent Act under the purview it for the purpose of compensation as well as rehabilitation and resettlement.
Thus, by choosing ordinance route to amend parent Act government is aiming to strike a balance between farmers’ welfare and the strategic and developmental needs of the country.
This Act came into force on January 1, 2014. Its objective was to transform the process of land acquisition into a humane, participative, informed and transparent process.
It had replaced Land Acquisition Act, 1894 and hiked the compensations by four times and twice the market value in rural areas and urban areas, respectively.
Under it there was need of consent from 70 per cent of the affected land owners in case of their lands being acquired for a public private partnership (PPP) project. If the acquisition was meant for private companies, consent from 80 per cent of the affected owners was required.
It also had mandated a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) survey to be held along with the process of getting the families’ consent.
Previously, 13 statutes Acts were exempted from this Act. They were Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958, Atomic Energy Act 1962, Damodar Valley Corporation Act 1948, Indian Tramways Act 1886, Land Acquisition Act 1885, Metro Railways (Construction of Works) Act 1978, National Highways Act 1956, Petroleum and Minerals Pipelines Act 1962, Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act, 1948, Coal Bearing Areas Acquisition and Development Act 1957, Electricity Act 2003 and Railways Act 1989.