Land Acquisition Act Ordinance: Developments and Changes

Land Acquisition Act Ordinance: Developments and Changes

Q. “The current protests against the Land Acquisition Act Ordinance are justified” Discuss in the context of the provisions of the ordinance and changes made to it as against the previous land law.

Ordinance for the Land Acquisition Act: Key Developments

• Senior social activist Anna Hazare has launched a protest against the Land Acquisition Bill ordinance, calling it “anti-farmer” legislation.
• 2 day protest to be followed by padyaatra of three to four months across the nation for creating awareness about the ordinance’s anti-farmer focus
• On 29/12/2014, the government has promulgated the ordinance leading to significant changes in the Land Acquisition Act . This includes removal of consent clause for acquisition of land for:
• Industrial corridors, PPP projects, Rural Infrastructure, Affordable housing , Defence
• Protest is being lodged against the nature of amendments to the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013
• Amendment removes provisions for taking the farmer’s consent before engaging in land acquisition

Opposition to the Bill

• The Land Acquisition Act mandates necessary consent of at least 70% of land owners for acquisition of land for PPP projects and 80% for acquisition of land for private companies; ordinance seeks to remove this for 5 key sectors

Nature of Changes as against previous legislation

• Omission of SIA and consent clause for 5 sectors

• Pro-farmer step with respect to rehabilitation, resettlement and compensation provisions for close to 13 existing pieces of legislation namely:
- Coal Bearing Areas Acquisition and Development Act 1957,
- the National Highways Act 1956,
- Land Acquisition (Mines) Act 1885,
- Atomic Energy Act 1962,
- the Indian Tramways Act 1886,
- the Railways Act 1989,
- the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958,
- the Petroleum and Minerals Pipelines (Acquisition of Right of User in Land) Act 1962
- the Damodar Valley Corporation Act 1948
- The Electricity Act 2003,
- Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act 1952,
- the Resettlement of Displaced Persons (Land Acquisition) Act 1948 and
- the Metro Railways (Construction of Works) Act 1978

• Compensation for the farmers remains the same; close to 4 times the market price for rural and 2 times for urban land
• Land ordinance bill has been introduced as under Section 105 of the Land Acquisition Act, clarity is required on whether provisions need to be applied for aforesaid 13 legislations

Reaction to the Changes

• Congress has opposed the ordinance indicating anyone who is pro-farmer should be able to raise their voice against this
• Indian Express report says Kerala and Haryana want the removal of the consent clause for PPP and bring it close to 50%
• Assam, Haryana and HP have objected to the definition of the family as being too broad and generic
• Regarding SIA, Karnataka, Kerala, Manipur and Maharashtra have said process should be restricted to the large projects alone


• As per the ordinance. farmers will get 4 times the market price of their land and 20% of the original land following development after ensuring the payment of the development and acquisition cost
• Development of infrastructure in rural areas will help the farmers and their families and improve the quality of life
• Land acquisition is only meant for projects associated with public good and welfare
• Private companies will purchase land as per the price the farmer demands from them; legislation is not anti-farmer
• Ordinance has only removed Social Impact Assessment and 70% consent in the event of PPP projects for the greater good
• State governments have been empowered with the choice of exempting projects from Social Impact Assessment and the consent clause is left with concerned state governments
• Ordinance represents and respects cooperative federalism


• Land ordinance does not take SIA and consent clause into account
• Land can forcibly be acquired from farmers
• Farmers may suffer the effects of unsustainable development
• Through omission of the social assessment part, government has removed the hurdle of compensating those dependent on the land; new ordinance only ensures land owner alone will be compensated
• Whether land is fertile or not will not be considered if it is acquired for the 5 key sectors; even extremely fertile land will be acquired if it is deemed fit for any of these 5 sectors


• Land should not be forcibly acquired by the farmers. If the legislation could make some provision for ensuring the same, it would be a game changer as this would benefit the industry as well as the agricultural sector.
• Removing the benefits of sale of land from those dependent on it should also be prevented. A large percentage of India’s population works in the agricultural sector and any legislation which seeks to impact them needs to be carefully studied before it is implemented. From the viewpoint of development and industry, the ordinance is a major step forward.
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