Land Acquisition Bill: Consensus eluded Centre, now four states relax their land laws

The view to have separate land laws across different states was reinforced after a meeting of the governing council of the Niti Aayog with state chief ministers in July 2015.

Written by Pranav Mukul | New Delhi | Updated: October 14, 2016 3:24 pm
Land Acquisition Bill, Land Acquisition law, state regulations, commercial use of land, Land Acquisition act, political consensus, India news Niti Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya said that adopting a model land leasing law was one of the important initiatives taken by the Centre.

The Centre’s inability to build a political consensus for its land acquisition law in 2015 notwithstanding, four major states — Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha — have taken decisive steps to free up regulations relating to commercial use of land.

WATCH VIDEO: Here’s What Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Said About India’s Domestic Reforms

While Gujarat has already passed its own land acquisition law, which was accorded assent by the President in August, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha have expressed intent in making business easier through the adoption of the Centre’s model land-leasing law.

In August, the Gujarat assembly passed a Bill, allowing amendments to the Centre’s 2013 land acquisition Act, including relaxation of the clauses of social impact assessment and need for consent of landowners.

Uttar Pradesh, which had earlier banned land-leasing with exceptions granted to landowners among widows, minors, disabled people and defence personnel, made further amendments to the exception clause, effectively allowing agricultural land parcels to be leased to people involved with businesses.

WATCH VIDEO: Muslim Law Board vs Government: Where The Battle Stands

Others such as Madhya Pradesh and Odisha have also evinced interest in amending their laws to allow land-leasing in their states, a senior official of the central government said.

After the government’s efforts to amend the land acquisition Act faced stiff political and social opposition last year, the Centre decided not to re-promulgate the ordinance for the fourth time in August 2015 to amend the legislation. Following this, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley advised states to frame their own Act with the Centre’s approval.

In an interview with The Indian Express, Niti Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya said that adopting a model land leasing law was one of the important initiatives taken by the Centre that would reflect in the country’s growth numbers in time to come.

WATCH VIDEO: Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu’s Response To Muslim Law Board On Uniform Civil Code

Panagariya, who has been a vocal proponent of land-leasing reforms, had earlier stated that “in the context of the difficulties in land acquisition under the 2013 land acquisition law”, states wanting to facilitate industrialisation could benefit from liberal leasing laws if they eased use of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes.

The view to have separate land laws across different states was reinforced after a meeting of the governing council of the Niti Aayog with state chief ministers in July 2015.

In June this year, the Niti Aayog also set up a special cell under the chairmanship of T Haque, former head of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, to build consensus with states on the Centre’s land-leasing policy.

“I think the way in which the government is now approaching policy should make investors more optimistic that reforms are now being pushed through such as closure of sick units, strategic disinvestment, MCI reforms. We are also trying to make a push with states to expand the best practices, such as land leasing law,” Panagariya said.

States that have moved

GUJARAT: Passed own land acquisition law, got Presidential assent

UP: Exceptions widened to allow land-leasing to people in businesses

MP: Interested in changing its law to allow land-leasing

ODISHA: Ready to amend law to allow land-leasing

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

  1. S
    SonaliRanade
    Oct 14, 2016 at 5:07 am
    Dear AAPtards and Pappu followrrs...."This is Acchhe Din"...!!!
    Reply
    1. S
      sathjoe
      Oct 14, 2016 at 6:49 am
      So all states will acquire lands for them by changing the land acquistion bill. But central government cannot acquire anything for their projects. What a pity? The current central government is the one which is getting more troubles from court and oppostion parties. There are many cases where court shunted central government like land acquistion bill, Judges appointment commission and so many. In all those the central government obe the court. But when recently in the same excitement when court asked the karnataka state government that state did not obe. The court was not able to do anything. The high handedness of the court was only against central government. When the changes in the land acquistion bill when framed by centre many parties including leading news papers opposed but now the same is followed by states. Then Why it was opposed when the same changes are framed by central government?
      Reply
      1. S
        Shyamal Ganguly
        Oct 14, 2016 at 1:35 am
        MUMTAZ BEGUM of BANGLA will fight the center alone with her Muslim goons.
        Reply
        1. S
          Shyamal Ganguly
          Oct 14, 2016 at 4:05 pm
          You are right. I have to give up eating chickens. It is like cannibalism for a Bengal lover like me.
          Reply