M Murali, MD Shriram Properties
Amendments to the recently enacted Land Acquisition Act, is a welcome step and this underscores the government’s commitment to reforms. This will be another big-bang reform similar to the GST reform to facilitate and accelerate private investment cycle.
The Land Acquisition Bill, which was passed during the previous Government‘s regime, of course, with the support of the BJP, the then opposition, sought to set a fair compensation for farm land being taken over for industrial projects – a welcome move .But in reality, the law passed in 2013 made land acquisition a very cumbersome process for the industry and was proving to be a major bottleneck for reviving infrastructure development and green field investment. Some states have already come out openly against the law, saying it had adversely impacted the process of acquiring land for infrastructure projects. This has been appreciated by present Government that provisions are deterrent for progress and growth. The government has rightly realized that the present Act is difficult to implement unless it is amended. At some point we have to take the call. That is what the government is doing now is my view.
Amendments to the Land Acquisition Act – exempting from both the consent clause and the social impact assessment for the specific five purposes, i.e. infrastructure projects, affordable housing, industrial corridors, defence purposes, and rural infrastructure is a positive step and booster to the economic growth of the country. However, there seem to be no change pertaining to land acquisition for private projects including industries. If this is also addressed, it will be all the more good.
- The amendment will help in a big way for realising the Prime Minister’s dream of providing shelter for all, as this act combined with incentives for the affordable housing projects will go a long way in combating the housing shortage in India
- Prime Minister’s dream of “Make in India” could become reality with enabling provisions for Industrial corridor and Defence purposes
- Enabling Act to support Rural Infra will bring the balance growth in the country
Government need to convince the Opposition that any dilution of the provisions of the Act would not in any way affect the interest of the farmers in their getting the right compensation.
Any act or law should be an enabler and should not be stifler, this way inevitable amendments are welcome if it is good for the country and its growth.