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Land acquisition ordinance gets Presidential assent

The ordinance on Land Acquisition Act envisaging procuring land for industrial corridors, rural infrastructure, defence and housing today received Presidential assent.

PTI|
Last Updated: Dec 31, 2014, 08.40 PM IST|Original: Dec 31, 2014, 08.38 PM IST
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The ordinance on Land Acquisition Act envisaging procuring land for industrial corridors, rural infrastructure, defence and housing today received Presidential assent.
The ordinance on Land Acquisition Act envisaging procuring land for industrial corridors, rural infrastructure, defence and housing today received Presidential assent.
NEW DELHI: The ordinance on Land Acquisition Act envisaging procuring land for industrial corridors, rural infrastructure, defence and housing today received Presidential assent.

The ordinance was cleared by Union Cabinet on December 29 and sent to the President for his clearance.

When asked, President's Press Secretary Venu Rajamony said "the President has signed it."

The ordinance makes significant changes in the Land Acquisition Act including removal of consent clause for acquiring land for five areas -- industrial corridors, PPP projects, rural infrastructure, affordable housing and defence.

Under the amended Act, 13 legislations, including those relating to defence and national security, to provide higher compensation and rehabilitation and resettlement benefits to farmers whose land is being acquired have been brought under the Centre's purview.

Under the amended law, the mandatory "consent" clause and Social Impact Assessment (SIA) will not be applicable if the land is acquired for five purposes.

These include,national security, defence, rural infrastructure including electrification, industrial corridors and building social infrastructure including Public Private Partnership (PPP) where ownership of land continues to be vested with the government.

However, the compensation and rehabilitation and resettlement packages will be applicable as per the new Land Acquisition Act for acquiring land for the five purposes.

Under the new Act, which was passed by the previous UPA regime, compensation in rural areas had gone up by four times while in urban areas it was doubled from the existing market value.

As per the changes brought in the ordinance, multi-crop irrigated land can also be acquired for these purposes. The earlier Act provided for consent of 70 per cent of land owners whose land is acquired for PPP projects.

Government said on Monday that its decision to bring 13 Acts under the Land Acquisition Act for compensation and rehabilitation and resettlement purposes was a "pro-farmer step".

However, the amendments were criticised by opposition political parties as well as NDA's ally PMK who described it as "anti-farmer", "unjust" and "deeply disturbing".

Main opposition Congress reached out to other parties asking them to come together to oppose the "anti-farmer" amendments, while TMC leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said her party would fight the ordinance.

The opposition also slammed the government for taking the ordinance route.

BJP ally PMK founder S Ramadoss slammed the 'back door entry' by the NDA government, saying the changes will affect crores of farmers in the country.
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