Gujarat’s Land Acquisition Bill, 2016, which dilutes Centre’s stringent Land Acquisition Act 2013, has received the presidential assent, and will be implemented in the state from Independence Day.
The bill aims to do away with social impact assessment and consent clauses for acquisition of land for public purposes, industrial corridors and Public Private Partnership projects.
“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,” 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. Then it was sent for presidential assent.
After coming to power 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 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 and affordable houses.
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 doing away with 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.