Union Minister of Rural Development Jairam Ramesh said here that the newly enacted Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, would have a direct impact on the Maoist movement in Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Ramesh said the Act would lead to a reduction in agitations relating to land acquisitions in different parts of the country. He said the Act had been given consent by President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday morning and the Union government was now framing rules and regulations for its enforcement. He also expressed his hope for the Act to become operational within the next two to three months.
He said there had been specific request from the chief ministers of Punjab, Haryana and Kerala to consider the case of states which have most of its area under multi-crop irrigation. He said the priority for acquisition will be barren and non-productive land and irrigated multi-crop land could be acquired only as a “demonstrative last resort”. The minister said that under the new law, forcible acquisition has become history.
He further said the ‘Retrospective clause’ in the new Act makes the new provisions applicable on the land acquired under the old law under three conditions i.e. 1. where award has not been announced, 2. where acquisition was done five years or more ago but physical possession of the land has not yet been taken, and 3. where majority of the farmers/land owners did not accept the award. He claimed that in tribal areas no land can be acquired without the permission of the gram sabha whereas in non-tribal areas consultation with gram sabha is a must.
He said it is a first time that the land acquisition law would compensate those whose land was acquired and also to the landless who lost livelihood.