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LAND ACQUISITION AND REHABILITATION & RESETTLEMENT BILL, 2011

The acquisition of land by governments for development and industrialisation has become a contentious political issue in recent years.  Many have criticized the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, as a draconian piece of legislation which has been used to forcibly acquire land without paying adequate compensation. Given the increasing chorus of protests over such issues as displacement and rights over land, the government is planning to introduce an amendment to the 1894 Act. The Amendment attempts to expand the rights of those whose land is being acquired while restricting the types of projects for which governments can acquire land. It also provides for a separate authority to settle disputes over land acquisition. Under our Constitution, land is a State subject but land acquisition is a Concurrent subject. So far, the basic law governing the land acquisition process has been the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. Although it has been amended from time to time, it is painfully evident that the basic law has become archaic. Land Acquisition and Resettlement & Rehabilitation need to be seen necessarily as two sides of the same coin LA = Land Acquisition RR = Resettlement & Rehabilitation   1. This draft Bill seeks to balance the need for facilitating land acquisition for various public purposes including infrastructure development, industrialization and urbanization, while at the same time meaningfully addressing the concerns of farmers and those whose livelihoods are dependent on the land being acquired. 2. The objective is to make the process of land acquisition easy, transparent and fair for both sides in each instance. 3. The draft Bill is fully compliant with the provisions of (i) PESA,1996; (ii) Forest Rights Act, 2006; and (iii) Land Transfer Regulations in Schedule V (i.e., tribal) areas 4. There are 18 other laws of the Central Government for land acquisition (like for highways, SEZs, defence, railways etc). The draft Bill will enjoy primacy over other such specialized legislations that are currently in force. 5. This is the first National/ Central Law on the subject of Resettlement and Rehabilitation of families affected and displaced as a result of land acquisition. 6. The Central Government shall constitute a National Monitoring Committee for reviewing and monitoring the implementation of rehabilitation and resettlement schemes or plans under this Act. 7. The State Government shall, for the purpose of providing speedy disposal of disputes relating to land acquisition, compensation, Rehabilitation and Resettlement establish, by notification in the Official Gazette, an Authority for the State to be known as the (name of the State) Land Acquisition Dispute Settlement Authority to exercise the jurisdiction, powers and authority conferred on it by or under this Act with regard to acquisition of land by the State Government: 8. The Central Government shall, for the purpose of providing speedy disposal of disputes relating to land acquisition, compensation, Rehabilitation and Resettlement establish, by notification in the Official Gazette, an Authority for the Centre to be known as the National Land Acquisition Dispute Settlement Authority to exercise the jurisdiction, powers and authority conferred on it by or under this Act with regard to acquisition of land by the Central Government: 9. Whoever willfully obstructs any person in doing any of the acts authorized by section 9 or section 15, or willfully fills up, destroys, damages or displaces any trench or mark made under section 15, shall, on conviction before a Magistrate, be liable to imprisonment for any term not exceeding one month, or to fine not exceeding five hundred rupees, or to both. 10. Whenever the ownership of any land acquired under this Act is transferred to any person for a consideration, twenty per cent of the difference in the acquisition cost and the consideration received, which in no case shall be less than the acquisition cost, duly adjusting for development cost shall be shared amongst the persons from whom the lands were acquired or their heirs, in proportion to the value at which the lands were acquired, and for the purpose, a separate fund may be maintained which shall be administered by the Collector in such manner as may be prescribed. Scope of LAND ACQUISITION AND REHABILITATION & RESETTLEMENT BILL, 2011 Both LA and R&R Provisions will apply when: 1. Government acquires land for its own use, hold and control. 2. Government acquires land with the ultimate purpose to transfer it for the use of private companies for stated public purpose (including PPP projects but other than national highway projects) 3. Government acquires land for immediate and declared use by private companies for public purpose Note I: Public purpose for 2. & 3. above, once stated, cannot be changed Note II: Land Acquisition under 2. & 3. above can take place provided 80% of the project affected families give consent to the proposed acquisition. Only R&R provisions will apply when: 1.   Private companies buy land, equal to or more than 100 acres, on their own; 2. Private company approaches Government for partial acquisition for public purpose. Note: Government does not envisage acquiring: 1. Land for private companies for private purposes. Or 2. Any multi-crop irrigated land for public purposes The following categories are considered as public purpose: 1. Strategic purposes: e.g., armed forces, national security 2. Infrastructure and Industry: where benefits largely accrue to the general public 3. Land acquired for R&R purposes 4. Village or urban sites: planned development -residential purpose for the poor and educational and health schemes 5. Land for private companies for public purpose 6. Needs arising from natural calamities The Urgency Clause can only be invoked in the following cases: 1. National defense and security purposes 2. R&R needs in the event of emergencies or natural calamities 3. To be exercised in ‘rarest of rare’ cases Salient Features of the Draft Bill – Land Owners: 1. Family whose land/other immovable properties have been acquired 2. Those who are assigned land by the Governments under various schemes 3. Right holders under the Forest Rights Act, 2006 • Livelihood Losers: 1. A family whose livelihood is primarily dependent on the land being acquired 2. May or may not own property   A Comprehensive Compensation Package (Schedule I) 1. Market value of the land: a) the minimum land value, if any, specified in the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 for the registration of sale deeds in the area, where the land is situated; or b) the average of the sale price for similar type of land situated in the village or vicinity, ascertained from fifty per cent of the sale deeds registered during the preceding three years, where higher price has been paid; or whichever is higher: PROVIDED THAT THE MARKET VALUE SO CALCULATED SHALL BE MULTIPLIED BY THREE IN RURAL AREAS. 2. Value of the assets attached to land: Building/Trees/Wells/Crop etc as valued by relevant govt. authority; Total compensation = 1+2 3. Solatium: 100% of total compensation This implies that in case of urban areas, the award amount would be not less than twice that of the market value determined, whereas in rural areas it would be not less than six times the original market value A Comprehensive R&R Package (Schedule II and Draft Bill) For Land Owners: 1. Subsistence allowance at Rs. 3000 per month per family for 12 months 2. Rs 2000 per month per family as annuity for 20 years, with appropriate index for inflation 3. If house is lost, a constructed house of plinth area of 150 sq mts of house site in rural areas or 50 sq mts plinth area in urban area 4. One acre of land to each family in the command area, if land is acquired for an irrigation project 5. Rs 50,000 for transportation 6. Where land is acquired for urbanization, 20% of the developed land will be reserved and offered to land owners, in proportion to their land acquired 7. Upon every transfer of land within 10 years of the date of acquisition, 20% of the appreciated value shall be shared with the original owner whose land has been acquired 8. Mandatory employment for one member per affected family or 2 lakh rupees if employment is not offered 9. Offer of shares up to 25% of the Compensation amount A Comprehensive R&R Package (Schedule II) For Livelihood losers (including landless): 1. Subsistence allowance at Rs. 3000 per month per family for 12 months 2. Rs 2000 per month per family as annuity for 20 years, with appropriate index for inflation 3. If home-less, a constructed house (plinth area) on 150 sqmts of house site in rural areas or 50 sqmts in urban area, provided free of cost 4. A one-time ‘Resettlement Allowance’ of Rs 50,000 5. Rs 50,000 for transportation 6. Mandatory employment for one member per affected family or 2 lakh rupees Special Provisions for ST’s 1. One acre of land to each ST family in every project 2. One time financial assistance of Rs 50,000 for ST families 3. ST families settled outside the district shall be entitled to an additional 25% R&R benefits (and a one time payment of Rs 50,000) to which they are entitled in monetary terms 4. Payment of one third of the compensation amount at very outset to ST families 5. Preference in relocation and resettlement in area in same compact block 6. Free land for community and social gatherings 7. In case of displacement of 100 or more ST families, a Tribal Displacement Plan is to be prepared: -Detailing process to be followed for settling land rights and restoring titles on alienated land; -Details of programme for development of alternate fuel, fodder and non-timber forest produce.   Minimum R&R Entitlements – Continuation of reservation and other benefits from displaced area to resettlement area for both SCs and STs 25 infrastructural amenities to be provided in the Resettlement area Safeguards against indiscriminate acquisition – Social Impact Assessment made mandatory where area to be acquired is equal to or greater than 100 acres; • Chief Secretary Committee to approve ‘public purpose’ and approve the SIA report; • Draft Notification to include: – Summary of SIA – Particulars of Administrator for R&R who prepares R&R scheme • Draft Declaration to include: – Summary of R&R package • Return of Land: Land returned to original owner if not used in 5 years for the purpose for which it is acquired, one-fourth of the award amount for the land acquired– Provided government can use land acquired for a department to some other department Transparency Provisions –
  • Social Impact Assessment
– Gram Sabha to be consulted – Summary of SIA notified along with Draft Notification – SIA document made available for public scrutiny   • R&R Scheme –Summary notified along with Draft declaration – Made available for public scrutiny • Individual Awards passed • Public Disclosure – All documents mandatorily to be made available in the public domain and on the website Penalties – Punishment for false information, Mala Fide action, etc • If False or Misleading Documents: Will result in the levy of a fine of up to one lakh rupees and/ or with imprisonment up to a month. • If R&R benefits obtained on false information: Shall be recovered by the Appropriate Authority. • Disciplinary Proceedings against Govt. Officers: A Government servant who is guilty of a mala fide action in respect of any provision of this Act and he shall be liable to such punishment (and fine) as the disciplinary authority may decide. Awards – Collector passes 2 types of Awards: 1. Award for Land Acquisition – Award made in respect of every affected family whose land is being acquired and containing details of LA compensation as listed in Schedule I; 2. Award for R&R – Award made in respect of every affected family, regardless of whether they may be losing land or not, containing details of R&R entitlements as listed in Schedule II. Provided that Land will not be transferred until R&R is completed The Collector shall ensure that full payment of compensation as well as rehabilitation and resettlement entitlements are paid or tendered to the entitled persons within a period of three months for the compensation and a period of six months for the rehabilitation and resettlement entitlements. The Land Acquisition Act 1894 as amended from time to time is repealed.
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