Farmers will benefit in the exchange: Javadekar on land bill

NEW DELHI, Apr 25:
Amid stiff opposition to land bill especially over consent clause, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar today said while some farmers will have to “sacrifice” their land for welfare of many others, they will be adequately compensated and will benefit in the exchange.
“Discussion on the consent clause is going on presently on the land acquisition bill in the entire country. There may be various opinions on the consent clause…. The compensation which is presently there in the law, is adequate compensation. The farmer will get four times more than what is the price of the land or the price at which it is being brought,” Javadekar said during an event.
He said that in addition, the farmer will also get back 20 per cent developed land.
Elaborating on the issue, Javadekar said that in the 1960s after a farmer’s agitation in Maharashtra, the formula of giving back 12.5 per cent developed land to the farmers was introduced.
“So whatever compensation was given on the basic land, 100 times more than that was given by that 12.5 per cent to the farmers. Here (new bill) 20 per cent of developed land is being given back,” Javadekar said.
The bill for amending Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2014 has been approved by the Lok Sabha but could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha as the NDA government is short of numbers in the Upper House.
The Opposition has termed the ordinance as “anti-farmer” and accused the BJP government of pushing it forcibly without holding any discussions.
“Farmers will be greatly benefited by it. Each acre will be given Rs 2000 per month as annuity for 30 years. One person in the family will be get job. So the farmer will get these huge four to five benefits and it is an adequate compensation,” Javadekar said.
He noted that there will always be two opinions on the issue of consent.
“When an dam for irrigation comes up, the land of 100 people goes but 10,000 people get benefited. It is a sacrifice of 100 people. There was a rule which was introduced in Maharashtra that not only compensation, the affected people should get land at that place which will be benefited by the particular dam.
“But if you ask those 100 people, who will say that come and destroy my house and make a dam. None will say. So on consent there maybe be different opinions,” he said.
The 2013 Act had called for mandatory Social Impact Assessment and consent of 80 per cent of affected families in land acquisition for private companies and 70 per cent of affected families in land acquisition for public-private partnership projects.
The NDA government had expanded the list of projects exempted from these two requirements. (PTI)