The government Friday released a draft land acquisition bill that
seeks to put in place a legal framework to not only protect the
interests of owners and prospective buyers, but also those whose
livelihoods depend on the acquired physical asset.
Land markets in India being imperfect, the government intends to
enact a transparent and flexible set of rules and regulations and
to ensure its enforcement, Rural Development Minister Jairam
Ramesh says in the foreword to the draft.
In recent years, there have been a spate of protests, some even
turning violent, over acquisition of farmland for housing and
industrial projects, calling for a transparent set of rules that
balances the need for industrialisation with the issue of
"Under our Constitution, land is a State subject, but land
acquisition is a Concurrent subject. So far, the basic law
governing the land acquisition process has been the Land
Acquisition Act, 1894," Ramesh said.
"Although it has been amended from time to time, it is painfully
evident that the basic law has become archaic," he added.
"The draft bill is being placed in the public domain as part of
the pre-legislative consultative process. Comments are invited
preferably before Aug 31," Ramesh said, adding land records will
also be updated and digitised to induce transparency.