‘Poor rehabilitation of displaced tribals is root cause of Maoism’

The pathetic track record of rehabilitation and resettlement of more than three crore displaced tribals since independence is the main cause of the Maoist problem but the new land acquisition law will ensure that they and farmers get their due rights, Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said on Sunday.

Addressing a press conference here, he said the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 was signed by the President and expected to be notified within the next two months.

This has come in the place of the 119-year-old Act, which was said to be the root cause of struggles by tribals and farmers against forcible acquisition of their land.

But opposing the new Act, activists such as Medha Patkar claimed that it was less progressive than expected, while a few business groups said it was against industrialisation. Mr. Ramesh, however, said the concerns were exaggerated. The new Act would pave the way for a less conflict-driven and tribal and farmer friendly industrialisation,” he said. The new Act would also be applicable to land acquisitions for all future Special Economic Zones.