Login Welcome, Guest
Government to bring new Land Bill in House next week

NEW DELHI: The government plans to introduce the new land bill in parliament early next week as it seeks to enact a law that gives handsome compensation to displaced persons and requires the consent of 80 per cent of the affected people before any property can be acquired. 

Under the proposed new law, the government will not acquire land for privately-owned hospitals, hotels and education institutions as these will not be regarded as 'infrastructure' that serves a public purpose. 

Only government-owned agricultural infrastructure, such as godowns and cold storage, and those owned by farmers' co-operative would qualify for "public purpose" under the new bill cleared by the cabinet on Thursday, official sources said. 

Real estate developers say the new law will make land scarce and costly and hinder development of new townships. 

In an attempt to prevent profiteering, the bill provides that in case the acquired land or any portion of it is resold, then 40 per cent of the appreciated price will have to be given to the land owner or their legal heir. 

The earlier provision had set the share of the appreciated value at 20 per cent but the Cabinet increased it, source said. This would address situations similar to the one that emerged at Bhatta Parsaul, where the government had resold the acquired land for a higher price than what it paid for acquiring the land. 

The land bill, as passed by Cabinet, has suggested that compensation should be two times the market rate, including solatium, for urban areas. For rural areas, the compensation would range between two to four times the market rate, including solatium. 

The exact rate would be determined on the distance of the project from urban areas. For families in rural areas, closest to urban areas, compensation would be two times the market rate, and those in areas farthest from an urban centre would receive four times the market rate as compensation. The precise slabs of the sliding scale would be determined by the states. 

The proposed law will be applicable to all projects where the process of acquisition is incomplete. The acquisition will be considered to be incomplete in cases where no award of land has been made; or projects where an award of land has been made but physical possession of the land has not been taken, or compensation not paid. 

Acquisition for projects where possession of the land has not been taken or compensation not paid in the five years before the new law comes into force will be considered to have lapsed. 

Ongoing projects where landowners have not accepted compensation or have been forced to accept compensation will also be considered as "incomplete" as the compensation would be "deemed as unpaid".