Cabinet amends land acquisition norms through ordinance

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved certain amendments in the land acquisition norms, which seeks to fast-track the purchase process while bringing more projects under the provisions of rehabilitation and compensation of land owners.

The amendments relate to Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. The Act came into effect from January 1, 2014 but the stakeholders faced difficulties in its implementation.

One of the key changes relate to faster processing. In the process of prolonged procedure for land acquisition, neither the farmer is able to get benefit nor is the project completed in time for the benefit of society at large, the government said.

The changes passed on Monday allows a fast track process for defence and defence production, rural infrastructure including electrification, housing for poor including affordable housing, industrial corridors and infrastructure projects including projects taken up under Public Private Partnership mode where ownership of the land continues to be vested with the government.

These projects would not need to seek the consent of 80 per cent of the affected landowners.

In another move, various excluded Acts have been brought under the new law. The existing Act had kept 13 most frequently used Acts for land acquisition for the central government projects out of the purview. These acts are applicable for national highways, metro rail, atomic energy projects, electricity related other projects etc.

The present amendments bring all those exempted 13 Acts under the purview of this Act for the purpose of compensation as well as rehabilitation and resettlement.

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