5 Reasons Why Government's Land Ordinance is Controversial

5 Reasons Why Government's Land Ordinance is Controversial

FILE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Associated Press photo)

New Delhi: The government is facing strong opposition to its bill to change the Land Act and ease the rules for acquisition of land from farmers.

Here is a look at the controversial changes:

  1. The original Act requires the consent of 70 per cent of farmers in the area where land is to be acquired for Public-Private Partnership projects. The new clause exempts five categories from this rule - industrial corridors, public-private partnership projects, rural infrastructure, affordable housing and defence.

  2. In the earlier law, a social impact assessment was mandatory but the ordinance exempts the five categories from this requirement.

  3. The existing law says land will be returned to the original owner if it is unused for five years. The proposed amendment scraps the five-year limit and says the land will be returned if it is unused for the period specified for the project.

  4. The current law has a provision to penalise bureaucrats for any violations. The amended clause says government sanction will be required to prosecute civil servants.

  5. The earlier ordinance had excluded private hospitals and private educational institutions from the list of infrastructure projects. The amended clause includes them, which allows private companies to buy land at concessional rates.