Land bill won't be of much help, says Patro - The New Indian Express

Land bill won't be of much help, says Patro

Published: 09th September 2013 10:58 AM

Last Updated: 09th September 2013 12:14 PM

Even as the Land Bill passed by Parliament is being hailed as pro-people, the Odisha Government has maintained that it will not be of much help for the State in the field of industrialisation.

The impact of the Bill will be negative for Odisha as the provision of consent for land acquisition for industries in the private sector and PPP (public private partnership) mode will make land acquisition for industries very difficult, Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Surya Narayan Patro said.

The minister said developed States like Maharashtra and Gujarat have reached saturation point and they have no need for much land acquisition for industrial projects, but for Odisha, which has started the process of industrialisation, the impact will be negative, he said.

Patro said people of the State do not want to give up land as has been evident from projects like Posco which has not taken off despite best efforts by the State Government. The Bill provisions will make it very difficult for the State to go for big irrigation and hydro electric projects, he said.

The minister said the State Government will consult experts to respond to the Bill after it becomes an Act. One of the highlights of the Bill is that it proposes payment of compensation four times the market value in rural areas and two times the market value in urban areas.

Patro, however, said payment of compensation is not a problem. There is resentment among the local people despite payment of good compensation amount as is the case in Posco project, he said.

The Bill, however, proposes a comprehensive, participative and meaningful process involving the participation of local Panchayati Raj Institutions for any acquisition proceeding.

Monitoring committees at the National and State Level to ensure that rehabilitation and resettlement obligations are met have also been established. No land can be acquired in scheduled areas areas without the consent of the gram sabhas. The law also ensures that all rights guaranteed under such legislations as the Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 and the Forest Rights Act, 2006 are taken care of.

It has special enhanced benefits (outlined in a dedicated chapter) for those belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

In cases where PPP projects are involved or acquisition is taking place for private companies, the Act requires the consent of no less than 70 per cent and 80 per cent respectively (in both cases) of those whose land is sought to be acquired.

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