GS Paper 2
Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Haryana Amendment), Bill, 2021 was recently passed by Haryana Assembly.
It seeks to expedite development projects by simplifying the procedure for acquisition of land.
- However, the Bill has been criticised for allegedly being “anti-farmer” and promoting “crony capitalism”.
Controversial provisions in the new Bill:
- This goes against the Central Land Acquisition Act of 2013 under which Social Impact Assessment (SIA)/ consent of landowners is a must.
The Bill seeks to do away with the condition of 48-hour prior notice to the occupants of an acquired building to evacuate. Occupants would be liable to vacate the building immediately after the Collector announces the award.
- This is extremely draconian and arbitrary. The state machinery shall be armed with powers to throw out the belongings of an affected person even at midnight without any notice or redress.
- The amendments also do away with the provision to give the evicted people plots of land in addition to monetary compensation.
The Collector can determine the fair compensation and make the award without further enquiry if he is satisfied that all persons interested in the land have consented to the terms and conditions of their free will.
- In such a situation, tenants and poor persons who may have non-proprietary rights on the land are likely to lose out.
- Also, the share of female heirs is often not recorded in rural areas.
- And persons with right of access, such as among the co-sharers of a Khewat, and usufructuary rights as in a mortgage or easement rights of an owner, are not duly recorded in official records.
Exempted projects include:
- Projects vital to national security or defence of India;
- rural infrastructure including electrification;
- affordable housing, housing for the poor and for rehabilitation of persons displaced due to land acquisition or a natural calamity;
- industrial corridors set up by the state government or its undertakings wherein land up to 2 km on either side of the designated railway lines or roads can be acquired;
- infrastructure projects relating to health and education, PPP projects wherein the ownership of land continues to vest with the state government, and urban Metro and rapid rail projects.
About the Land Acquisition Act of 2013:
The 2013 Act replaced the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (1894 Act) and provides for higher compensation to those deprived of land by the government for both public and private sector projects.
Acquiring land: For private project, 80% affected families must agree. For PPP project, 70% affected families must agree. Only then land can be acquired.
Social impact assessment: Under Social impact assessment (SIA) even need to obtain consent of the affected artisans, labourers, share-croppers, tenant farmers etc whose (sustainable) livelihood will be affected because of the given project.
Compensation: Compensation proportion to market rates. 4 times the market rate in rural area. 2 times in urban area. Affected artisans, small traders, fishermen etc. will be given one-time payment, even if they don’t own any land.
To ensure food security: Fertile, irrigated, multi-cropped farmland can be acquired only in last resort. If such fertile land is acquired, then Government will have to develop equal size of wasteland for agriculture purpose.
Private entities: If Government acquires the lands for private company- the said private company will be responsible for relief and rehabilitation of the affected people. Additional rehabilitation package for SC/ST owners.
Safeguards: State Governments have to setup dispute settlement Chairman must be a district judge or lawyer for 7 years.
Accountability: Head of the department will be made responsible, for any offense from Government’s side. If project doesn’t start in 5 years, land has to be returned to the original owner or the land bank. Establishment of Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Authority for speedy disposal of disputes.
Do you know the differences between Social Impact Assessment (SIA) and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)? Reference: read this.
- About EIA.
- About Haryana’s new land law.
- How is it different from Centre’s Land Acquisition Act of 2013?
- Overview of the 2013 law.
Discuss the concerns associated with the new land law of Haryana.
Sources: Indian Express.