Now owners would be paid four times the market value for land acquired in rural areas, while in urban areas they would get two times the market value.

The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 will prevent forced acquisition and protect the rights of farmers and tribal people, Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said on Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference here, he said the new law, would ensure that no land was acquired in Scheduled areas or tribal-dominated areas without the consent of the Gram Sabha.

In non-Scheduled area, land acquisition could take place only with the consent of 70 per cent of the affected families.

Unlike the the old Acquisition Act which was “undemocratic,” resulting in denial of justice to farmers and tribals, the Minister said, the new law was historic and revolutionary.

Now owners would be paid four times the market value for land acquired in rural areas, while in urban areas they would get two times the market value.

Mr. Ramesh said people’s movements had been organised over land acquisition in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Odisha, and Maoists were taking advantage of the situation.

But there could not be any land acquisition by force once the new law came into force, he said. Citing the decision of tribals of Niyamgiri in Odisha who had rejected the proposed mining of bauxite for Vedanta Aluminium’s alumina refinery, the Minister said the new law would give tribals and farmers legal rights to reject or accept any such project.