Friday, October 24, 2008

No matter

It may be good to get this new amendment in land acquisition law but with out the private property rights it will go long way to provide basic rights to people of this country.

M R Madhavan writes in Indian ExpressFirst, it redefines public purpose as including by a company for “any other purpose useful to the general public”, provided the company has purchased at least 70 per cent of the land required through normal market mechanisms. Second, it changes the method for computing the compensation. The price is linked to sale price in the vicinity. Importantly, the intended use of the land and the value of such land in the market must be factored into the computation. In case the acquisition is for a company, 20 to 50 per cent of the compensation must be offered as shares or debentures. The seller has the choice of accepting this offer or taking a full-cash settlement. Third, the land shall be returned to the government if it is not used for five years from the date of possession. And in case it is transferred, 80 per cent of the capital gains must be shared with the original land owners and their heirs. Fourth, the bill specifies that all persons displaced by the acquisition process — including those who did not own any land — would be rehabilitated and resettled. The process for this is detailed in a companion bill, the Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2007. Fifth, a land acquisition compensation disputes settlement authority is to be set up with civil court-like powers, which has to adjudicate all disputes within six months.  The companion bill that provides for rehabilitation and resettlement suffers from one serious constraint — the language used for many of the benefits is non-binding in nature, and this could result in several benefits being denied. The proposed changes, though welcome, need more than good intentions to be effective”….  

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