Land bill seeks additional benefits beyond compensation

New Delhi The UPA government's much-talked about Land Acquisition Bill seeks additional benefits beyond monetary compensation to families affected adversely by involuntary displacement.

The controversial bill, deferred by Lok Sabha till the next session, says that careful assessment of the economic disadvantages and the social impact arising out of displacement should be done and there must be holistic effort aimed at improving the all-round living standards of the affected families.

The definition of affected family includes agricultural labourers, tenants including any form of tenancy or holding of 'usufruct' right, share-croppers or artisans who may be working in the affected areas for three years prior to the acquisition, whose primary source of livelihood stand affected by the acquisition of land.

According to the bill, all affected families are entitled to a house provided they have been residing in an area for 5 years or more and have been displaced. If they choose not to accept the house, they will be offered a one-time financial grant in lieu of the same.

The bill has the choice of annuity or employment-all affected families will be given a choice of annuity or employment.

If employment is not forthcoming, they will be entitled to a one-time grant of Rs five lakh per family.

Alternatively, they will provided with an annuity payment of Rs 2000 per month per family for 20 years.

There is also a provision which says that this will be adjusted for inflation.

According to the bill, all affected families which are displaced from the land acquired shall be given a monthly subsistence allowance equivalent to Rs 3000 per month for a period of one year from the date of award.

The bill also says that all affected families will also given training and skill development while being offered employment.

In case of acquisition of land for irrigation or hydel project, the rehabilitation and resettlement should be completed six months prior to submergence of the land proposed to be so acquired.
Story First Published: December 18, 2012 21:27 IST

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