Farmer bodies seek withdrawal of ‘alarming’ land law provisions

Five farmer organisations from U.P., Bihar and Haryana appear before the Joint Committee of Parliament on land acquisition bill.

June 09, 2015 05:53 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 11:30 pm IST - New Delhi

Leaders from five farmer organisations on Tuesday attacked the Narendra Modi government over provisions of the land ordinance saying the changes being brought in the 2013 land law are “alarming” and urged a parliamentary panel to recommend their withdrawal.

The farmer leaders, appearing before the Joint Committee of Parliament on land acquisition bill headed by S.S. Ahulwalia, voiced their strong reservations to a number of clauses in the ordinance including those pertaining to farmers’ consent and retrospective aspect.

Representing Rashtriya Kisan Union and Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan from Uttar Pradesh, Kisan Jagriti Manch and Bhartiya Kisan Union from Haryana and Khet Bachao Jeewan Bachao Sangharsh Samiti from Bihar, the farmers questioned the rationale behind replacing the 2013 land law.

The panel, which started its meetings on May 29, 2015, met for the third time on Tuesday to hear views of the stakeholders.

Those who met the panel included farmers from Bhatta Parsaul from where Rahul Gandhi had begun his agitation against their forcible land acquisition in 2011.

Rejecting the Centre’s claim that procedural difficulties in the acquisition of lands for important national projects needed to be mitigated and hence changes were required, the farmers said the clauses seeking exemption from consent and social impact assessment in five categories are “alarming“.

When some members of the ruling party interrupted and tried to reason with the farmers about the need for the bill, Opposition members objected saying the farmers should be allowed to express their views openly, sources said.

At this, Mr. Ahluwalia asked the BJP MPs not to interrupt saying the representatives of farmers bodies have been called as the panel wants to hear them out thoroughly.

He also decided to send a questionnaire related to the provisions of the ordinance to the witnesses so that they can give their views on all the relevant points concerning the bill when the committee meets again on Monday.

Farmer leaders Dhirendra Singh, Muazzam Khan, Shahid Manzoor, Sukbhir Singh Mukesh Mallick and Gopal Krishna expressed their views before the panel.

Here are the six important facts you need to know about the Land Bill. Source: prsindia.org

1 The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015 seeks to Amend the Act of 2013 (LARR Act, 2013).
2 The Bill creates five special categories of land use: 1. defence, 2. rural infrastructure, 3. affordable housing, 4. industrial corridors, and 5. infrastructure projects including Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects where the central government owns the land
3 The Bill exempts the five categories from provisions of the LARR Act, 2013 which requires the consent of 80 per cent of land ownersto be obtained for private projects and that of 70 per cent of land owners for PPP projects.
4 The Bill allows exemption for projects in these five categories from requiring Social Impact Assessment be done to identify those affected and from the restrictions on the acquisition of irrigated multi-cropped land imposed by LARR Act 2013.
5 The Bill brings provisions for compensation, rehabilitation, and resettlement under other related Acts such as the National Highways Act and the Railways Act in consonance with the LARR Act.
6 The Bill changes acquisition of land for private companies mentioned in LARR Act, 2013 to acquisition for ‘private entities’. A private entity could include companies, corporations and nonprofit organisations.

What does the Ordinance mean ?

For Industries

For Farmers

Ordinance envisages projects in defence, rural housing and industrial corridors as exempt from seeking 80% approval from affected persons.

Farmers' compensation will remain the same — four times the market rate for urban areas, and twice for rural areas.

Private hospitals, educational institutions and hotels will be included under definition of public purpose, and exempt from SIA.

13 statutes that were previously exempted from the rigours of compensation have now been included.

The Ordinance aims to make land acquisition easier for industries, as delays in approvals have restricted growth in industry and infrastructure, according to stakeholders.

Multi-crop land can be acquired for five purposes without consent of affected families: national security, defence, rural infrastructure, industrial corridors and social infrastructure

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