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Land Acquisition Bill not against industrialisation: Jairam

The new Land Acquisition Bill is not against industrialisation and urbanisation as there is no bar on purchase of private land, said Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh. He said the new Act renamed as the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2013 will come into force only in such cases where the land will be acquired by Central or State Authorities for any public purpose. Mr Ramesh added that, the new Act which will be notified within three months will be applicable to SEZ projects and there will be no change in the land use except in certain cases through laid down procedures. He said, “The thirteen Central Acts which are outside the purview of the new Act have to conform to the provisions of compensation and rehabilitation and resettlement package within one year of the coming into force of the legislation.” There is a balance in the new Act as it serves the interests of all sections of society. Terming the bill as a progressive piece of legislation, the Minister said. He also allayed the fears that the new Act gives absolute powers to the collectors as far as land acquisition, award, compensation and rehabilitation are concerned and stated that unlike in the old Act, the above provisions have been clearly enunciated in the new law thus curtailing the discretionary powers of the District Magistrates. Mr Ramesh criticised the Public Sector Undertakings for the large scale displacement of people particularly tribals in states like Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Jharkhand for executing projects mainly mining and coal without adequate compensation and R&R package, which the Minister said is the main cause of growth of naxalism.

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