Government moves to ease land acquisition rules for industry

16 July 2014

The government is reportedly moving to make certain provisions of the Land Acquisition Act less stringent, and has initiated consultations with political parties to seek a consensus on the changes to be made.

In a note sent to the Prime Minister's Office, the rural development ministry has suggested a number of amendments to the act that seek to dilute pro-farmer provisions like mandatory consent of at least 70 per cent of local residents for acquiring land for public-private partnership (PPP) projects and 80 per cent for acquiring land for wholly private projects.

The ministry's proposals include dilution of a key clause of 'Social Impact Assessment', criticised by states as time-consuming, according to a PTI report.

"The Consent Clause (Section 2(2)) should be re-examined as ownership of land vests with the government in PPP projects. This clause should be removed. Alternatively, consent requirement may be brought down to 50 per cent," says the ministry note.

It adds, "Mandatory Social Impact Assessment study should be done away with. SIA should be confined to large projects/PPP Projects as it may delay acquisition process."

Officials said that Rural Development Minister Nitin Gadkari along with his ministerial colleagues has started informal consultations with leaders of various political parties on the topic. On the basis of the feedback, an all party meeting may be convened, according to the report.

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