The right to fair compensation and transparency land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement act, 2013 has come into effect from 1 January 2014. What implication would it have on industrialisation and agriculture in India?

Published: January 29, 2015

The right to fair compensation and transparency land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement act, 2013 is expected to affect both industrialisation and agriculture in India.

The legislation is mainly expected to affect rural land-owning persons. However, it exempts fertile agricultural land from being acquired, so farmers are protected to an extent. However, none of the provisions of this legislation apply to acquisitions under 16 existing legislations including the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005, the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, the Railways Act, 1989, etc. Hence, if the land acquisition was conducted under one of these 16 legislations, even fertile land could be acquired. Additionally, when PSUs acquire land they don’t have to meet the 80% consent threshold, thus providing for yet another exemption. Also, the government could temporarily acquire land for up to 3 years without providing for rehabilitation and resettlement. As for compensation, there are doubts as to whether the market value determined on the basis of recent reported transaction will reflect the real market value as there is extensive underreporting of prices in land transactions.

Exemptions granted to the SEZ Act etc. is a boon for industries that need land for establishing industries and building required infrastructure. However, the requirement of 80% consent and the bar on acquiring fertile land is expected to slow down land acquisition and thus, indirectly slow the pace of industrialisation.

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