Land acquisition is now easier, faster

The Center took the ordinance route to remove the consent clause in land acquisition, earning plaudits of the industry.

The government today recommended promulgation of an ordinance making significant changes to the Land Acquisition Act, including removal of consent clause for acquiring land in five areas: industrial corridors, PPP projects, rural infrastructure, affordable housing, and defence.

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, decided to amend the act to bring under its purview 13 central legislations, including those relating to defence and national security, to provide higher compensation and rehabilitation and resettlement benefits to farmers whose land is to be acquired.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley said the government decided to relax certain provisions of the act and add Section 10A to the legislation keeping in the mind the development needs of India.

Jaitley said the mandatory “consent“ clause as mentioned in the earlier law and Social Impact Assessment (SIA) will not be applicable if the land is acquired for five purposes including national security, defence, rural infrastructure (including electrification, industrial corridors, and social infrastructure), and PPP where ownership of the land continues to vest with the government.

However, the compensation HO and rehabilitation and resettlement pack ages will be applicable according to the provisions of the new Land Acquisition Ordnance for acquiring land for these purposes. As per the changes brought in the ordinance, multi-crop irrigated land can also be acquired for these purposes.

Anshuman Magazine, CMD of CBRE South Asia Pvt Ltd, said: “These amendments will have a positive impact on infrastructure and real estate sectors. I’m hopeful that the new norms will curb the inordinate delays seen so far in the land acquisition process for large-scale infrastructure and affordable housing projects.”

Navin M Raheja, chairman of Naredco, said: “Exemption to affordable housing from the impractical provisions of Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Act, 2013, underlines the focus of the mission to provide `Housing for all by 2022′. “An estimated 1.7-2 lakh hectares required for urban housing can be now acquired with ease.“ Getamber Anand, president (elect) of Credai and CMD of ATS Group, said: “This is a good step and will facilitate the construction of construction of affordable housing on a mass scale in the country. The bill will also make land acquisition easier for road infra structure in urban areas, which will provide connectivity to these affordable units.”

“Taking the ordinance route shows the government’s intent and we welcome it,“ Mohit Goel, CEO of Omaxe Ltd, said.

Source: Times Property, Jan 03, 2015

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