Skip to main content

Govt of India wants to "reduce" land acquisition Act into compensation granting mechanism

By Our Representative
One of the world's most influential NGOs, Oxfam, taking strong exception to the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) ordinance, which was hurriedly brought in to replace the LARR Act late last year, has asked the Government of India to roll it back immediately. The ordinance is now being sought to be replaced by an amendment law by the Modi government.
Headquartered in UK, Oxfam in a recent note has said, “By undoing the applicability of the LARR law on critical sectors where the largest amount of land acquisition is taking place, like industrial corridors or mines, the 2014 ordinance reduces the law to a compensation granting mechanism.”
Currently before Parliament for nod, Oxfam says, the LARR ordinance has especially done away with the processes such as social impact assessment (SIA) which was a significant gain and was “welcomed by affected people and social movements”. Then, it has sought to do away with the 2013 law's provision of "seeking consent from owners of land in case land is being acquired for private sector projects or projects under public private partnership (PPP).”
Saying this should not be allowed, Oxfam says, these changes would only go to help “many projects including mining, SEZs, transportation, tourism”, hence they should be “immediately undone and no further dilutions should be allowed”.
Other changes sought by Oxfam include revoking “exemptions to SIA on acquisition of land multicropped land”, and reinstatement of 2013 Act's “provisions related to return of unutilized land” to the original owner. It adds, there are in all “nineteen amendments floated by the Ministry of Rural Development, with possibilities existing for “adversely modifying the rates of compensation”.
Oxfam takes objection to the ordinance adding a “new section to the 2013 Act, which includes a range of projects for which the provisions of SIA and food security safeguards will not apply. This includes acquisition of land for defence or national security projects, infrastructure projects (including tourism, mining, and transportation), industrial corridors (like Special Economic Zones) and affordable housing for low income groups.”
Oxfam also disagrees to the ordinance's provision which ensures that there is no cognizance of offence made by government employees in any court without it being first sanctioned by the government. “The 2013 Act had put the liability of any offence committed under the Act, directly on the head of a government department”, adds Oxfam.
Calling the LARR ordinance, 2014 “a conscious and retrograde step, which aims to bring about long-term changes targeted primarily towards speedy land acquisition for project developers”, Oxfam believes, it is “likely to create more social and environmental conflicts rather than resolve them.”
Prepared by Kanchi Kohli, a researcher on environment, forest and biodiversity governance, for Oxfam's India branch, the note concludes that the ordinance is “in favour of those acquiring land rather than the project impacted communities, especially those who are poor and landless.”

Comments

TRENDING

Girl child education: 20 major states 'score' better than Gujarat, says GoI report

By Rajiv Shah
A Government of India report, released last month, has suggested that “model” Gujarat has failed to make any progress vis-à-vis other states in ensuring that girls continue to remain enrolled after they leave primary schools. The report finds that, in the age group 14-17, Gujarat’s 71% girls are enrolled at the secondary and higher secondary level, which is worse than 20 out of 22 major states for which data have been made available.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Congress 'promises' cancellation of Adani power project: Jharkhand elections

Counterview Desk
Pointing out that people's issues take a backseat in Jharkhand's 2019 assembly elections, the state's civil rights organization, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of activists and people’s organisations, has said that political parties have largely ignored in their electoral manifestos the need to implement the fifth schedule of the Constitution in a predominantly tribal district.

Hindutva founders 'borrowed' Nazi, fascist idea of one flag, one leader, one ideology

By Shamsul Islam*
With the unleashing of the reign of terror by the RSS/BJP rulers against working-class, peasant organizations, women organizations, student movements, intellectuals, writers, poets and progressive social/political activists, India also witnessed a series of resistance programmes organized by the pro-people cultural organizations in different parts of the country. My address in some of these programmes is reproduced here... 
***  Before sharing my views on the tasks of artists-writers-intellectuals in the times of fascism, let me briefly define fascism and how it is different from totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is political concept, a dictatorship of an individual, family or group which prohibits opposition in any form, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is also described as authoritarianism.
Whereas fascism, while retaining all these repressive characteristics, also believes in god-ordained superiority of race, cultur…

Hindutva founders, not Congress, were actual 'proponents' of two-nation theory

By Shamsul Islam*
No other organization, in the present world, can beat Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in double-speak. In fact, what George Orwell termed as "doublespeak" would be an understatement in the case of RSS. The latest proof of this nasty case was provided by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, de facto Prime Minister and senior RSS leader in the Lok Sabha (akin to the House of Commons in England) on December 9, 2019.

Ex-World Bank chief economist doubts spurt in India's ease of doing business rank

By Rajiv Shah
This is in continuation of my previous blog where I had quoted from a commentary which top economist Prof Kaushik Basu had written in the New York Times (NYT) a little less than a month ago, on November 6, to be exact. He recalled this article through a tweet on November 29, soon after it was made known that India's growth rate had slumped (officially!) to 4.5%.

With RSS around, does India need foreign enemy to undo its democratic-secular fabric?

By Shamsul Islam*
Many well-meaning liberal and secular political analysts are highly perturbed by sectarian policy decisions of RSS/BJP rulers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially after starting his second inning. They are vocal in red-flagging lynching incidents, policies of the Modi government on Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the demand for 'Bharat Ratna' to Savarkar who submitted 6-7 mercy petitions to the British masters (getting remission of 40 years out of 50 years' sentence), and the murder of constitutional norms in Goa, Karnataka and now in Maharashtra.

Ships recycling Bill 'allows' India to be turned into a landfill for foreign hazardous waste

Counterview Desk
In a letter to M Venkaiah Naidu, chairman, Rajya Sabha, senior activist Gopal Krishna of the Toxics Watch Alliance has said that the Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019 should be referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change to "safeguard country’s maritime environment from harmful and hazardous wastes and materials".

Post-Balakot, danger that events might spiral out of control is 'greater, not less'

By Tapan Bose*
The fear of war in South Asia is increasing. Tensions are escalating between India and Pakistan after the Indian defence minister's announcement in August this year that India may revoke its current commitment to only use nuclear weapons in retaliation for a nuclear attack, known as ‘no first use’. According to some experts who are watching the situation the risk of a conflict between the two countries has never been greater since they both tested nuclear weapons in 1998.

Worrying signs in BJP: Modi, Shah begin 'cold-shouldering' Gujarat CM, party chief

By RK Misra*
The political developments in neighbouring Maharashtra where a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government assumed office has had a trickle down effect in Gujarat with both the ruling BJP and the Congress opposition going into revamp mode.