The Gujarat Land Acquisition Bill that dilutes a related act brought in by UPA government by discarding key provisions for social impact assessment and consent clauses for acquisition of land for “public purposes” and “industrial corridors” has received Presidential assent.
The legislation will be implemented from Independence Day next Monday, it was announced here today.
The Bill, seeking to remove the two key clauses for acquisition of land for public purposes, industrial corridors and Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects, has been strongly opposed by Congress, which today dubbed it “anti-farmer and pro-industrialist”.
“President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to the ‘Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Gujarat Amendment) Bill 2016’ on August 8,” State Revenue Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasma told reporters here today.
“We will implement the new law in the state from August 15, which is Independence Day,” he said. The state government will notify it as an Act before August 15.
“The 2013 UPA Land Act had many anomalies. This new amended law of ours will remove those anomalies and facilitate fast-paced growth in the state,” he said.
The amended Bill was passed by the State Legislative Assembly on March 31 this year, before it was sent for the Presidential nod.
After assuming power at Centre in 2014, the Narendra Modi government had brought in amendments to Land Acquisition Act 2013. All the amendments that were brought by NDA government were part of the bill that Gujarat Assembly had passed.
The NDA version, however, failed to pass the muster of Rajya Sabha as the BJP and allies lacked numbers in the Upper House. The Modi government then dropped the idea of passage of the Bill in Rajya Sabha and instead asked states to amend the law suiting them.
One of the key provisions of the Bill is doing away with Social Impact Assessment (SIA) for projects related to Defence and social sectors, such as building air base, defence manufacturing units, schools, roads, canals, affordable houses, etc.
The other key change is that SIA will not be carried out for land acquisition for industrial corridor and PPP projects taken up by the government.
Another key amendment is striking out the provision of consent of affected parties. As per the original Central Act, 80 per cent of land owners must give their nod for the acquisition of land.