RS passes Land Acquisition Bill with 4 new official amendments

New Delhi, Sep 5 (ANI): The Rajya Sabha has passed the Land Acquisition Bill with four new official amendments.

The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2012, was passed by the Upper House by 131-10 votes with four new official amendments, proposed by opposition parties, including BJP.

Though, the bill was passed by the Lok Sabha last week it will go back to it for the approval of the new amendments, which include dilution of the retrospective clause with regard to acquisition of land for irrigation projects.

Replying to a six-hour debate in the House late last night, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said, there will be no forcible acquisition under the law.

He clarified that the urgency clause in the bill is to be used only in case of natural calamities and national security, and cannot be invoked in case of land acquisition for private parties. He said, compensation in this case will be higher.

According to reports, the bill, which will replace over a century-old law, is historic and revolutionary as it seeks to provide fair and just compensation to farmers and to those who lose their livelihood on account of acquisition.

The new bill proposes that farmers and landowners be paid up to four times the market value for land acquired in rural areas, and two times the market value in urban areas.

The other significant aspect of the Bill is that the consent of 80 percent of land owners is needed for acquiring land for private projects and of 70 percent landowners for public-private projects.

Public purpose as per the bill includes sectors like mining, infrastructure, defence, manufacturing zones, ports, roads, and railways built by the government and public sector enterprises. (ANI)

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