Since elections are approaching near it seems as if our government is showering us with bills of all kinds and nature. The first in this shower was `The Food Security Bill` which took everyone aback by the huge figures of expenses which the government will lay on subsidies and provisions to be provided to implement it. The second one was our company’s bill which was more like an amendment to the old companies act only with a new concept of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). The latest one in this shower is the new `Land acquisition bill’. The miraculous component of the first two bills are that in these few days they got passed quickly and with not much of obstruction otherwise these policies and regulations were formed many years back it was just that they were never implemented with the required amount of dedication and sincerity.
This new land acquisition bill is a very thoughtful bill which works for the social security of those farmers and peasants who lose their lands to the government who acquires it for the public use as for construction of bridges, roads, highways, ports, power and irrigation purposes for use by government or by government controlled corporations (also known as public sector companies) etc. This bill originally came into being in 1894 but in 2011 again some amendments were made to it and now the latest the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2012″ conveys government’s determination to address widespread and historical injustices. The aim of the new Bill as listed in its purpose says, “Ensure a humane, participatory, informed consultative and transparent process for land acquisition for industrialization, development with the least disturbance to the owners of the land”.
The new deal offers various advantages like compensation 4 times market value in rural area and 2 times in urban area. The Bill requires consent of no less than 70% and 80%, respectively (in both public and private cases) of those whose land is sought to be acquired. Lack of transparency facilitated corruption which caused immense dissatisfaction to the owners of the land. Relief and rehabilitation facilities for families dependent on acquired land will be taken care of. From the opposition Sushma Swaraj suggested that instead of acquiring lands they should be taken on lease so that ownership remains same.
This bill or the amendment in the pre-existing bill is undoubtedly a very incredible approach towards the benefit of the people who lose their own lands and are not even rehabilitated properly. But if we look deeper the need of the hour is to do something to stabilize our economy which is constantly falling. Offering 4 times the market value will indeed increase the cost of the ongoing or future projects this can lead to inflation. According to TOI news on 29th august 47% mega projects are already delayed. According to Ministry of statistics report , May 2013 out of total 207 projects 97 are delayed.
Along with these amendments the government should act to stop the sprawling of Indian rupee by following very simple rules of bringing the market to start working again. Both the ruling parties should forget about elections for a while and work together to bring out our nation out of this economic crisis. This crisis is not only creating holes in middlemen`s pocket but also causing a great harm to the international reputation of our country. We can only hope that instead of only striving for votes our political parties will get our nation out of this major problem.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.